Using All the Tools in the Toolbox for Meaningful Engagement

The ICANN community’s commitment to its work during these difficult times is impressive. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us realize that many of the tools we need are already in use, and it has pushed us to be creative with how we approach our work. As I outlined in a recent blog, we are leveraging the tools we have at our disposal to continue to effectively engage and support our community in the work that needs to be done. Today, I want to outline some of the improvements we’ve made to those tools and resources.

Explore our refreshed Engagement Calendar, which provides an overview of the scheduled events that ICANN org or Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees are hosting or participating in. We’ve enhanced the readability and made it easier to search for the kind of events that interest you. You can filter by keyword, dates, region, or event topic. Are you interested in security issues? Filtering by “Security” would give you information about ICANN’s participation in the upcoming virtual Beijing Cyber Security Conference. How about regional events? If you filter by “Latin America and Caribbean,” you will see details about LACNIC34 and LACNOG 2020, where ICANN will be presenting. We will be adding events to the Engagement Calendar on a weekly basis, so make sure to bookmark the page and refresh it to see the latest updates.

Our Global Stakeholder and Technical Engagement teams remain dedicated to our capacity development mission and continue to actively plan virtual events around the world. For example, details about July’s Africa DNS Forum are available on the Engagement Calendar. You will also see information about a Universal Acceptance event to be held as part of the LAC Talks series.

In addition to the live virtual events, we’ve increased our knowledge sharing with new technical publications from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, and policy analysis publications from the Government & Intergovernmental Organizations Engagement team.

ICANN Learn has long been a valuable tool for beginners to use to increase their knowledge about the Internet ecosystem and build skills necessary to participate in Internet governance. ICANN stakeholders can find new courses like Domain Name System Fundamentals and Policy Development Fundamentals – available in all six United Nations languages. And new courses are being published, like the upcoming course on Constructive Dialogues coming soon. You can find descriptions and registration information on all the available courses at:

While this year has undoubtedly been full of challenges, we should also pause and recognize the substantial work that has been accomplished. You have all made this achievement possible, and we are honored to be your partners. Please make use of the available tools to help you continue contributing to the stability, resiliency, and interoperability of the Internet.
Domain Name SystemInternationalized 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”””” is not an IDN.”

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