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Civil Society in ICANN

Civil society in ICANN includes not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations, non-commercial individual Internet users, and academia.

This page provides access to resources for civil society stakeholders interested in the work of ICANN, and to learn about how the contributions of their peers from around the world shape the organization.

Get Involved


Are you interested in how non-commercial Internet users participate in ICANN? The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) / At-Large community provides advice on how ICANN's activities affect the interests of individual Internet users. Learn more about the work of At-Large and how to participate:

Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG)

NCSG is a home for civil society organizations and individuals within ICANN's policy development processes. The NCSG is one of the four stakeholder groups that form ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), where policy for generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs) is developed.

To learn more about the work of civil society in the GNSO visit NCSG

Or see the two constituencies that represent non-commercial interests in ICANN:

  • Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC)
    Focusing on policy development, Internet governance policy, protecting noncommercial communication and consumer protection, civil liberties and human rights

  • Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency (NPOC)
    Interested in operational concerns related to ICANN and the DNS, such as domain name registration, expansion of the DNS, and DNS and fraud and abuse

What's New From ICANN

Sign up to receive occasional information about the work of civil society in ICANN, links to blog posts and other materials.


ICANN News and Announcements for Civil Society



Materials created by and for Civil Society in ICANN are available on a dedicated website

Most civil society content is created by the NCUC NPOC and At-Large

Subscribe to the civil society announcements and information mailing list


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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"""" is not an IDN."