Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA)

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Dave Crocker 
Last updated 2002-06-25
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Expired & archived
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) use Unicode for domain name, rather than using a subset of ASCII. This increased name space, as well the requirement to maintain compatibility with the existing domain name service means that IDNs must be encoded in a form that can be supported without changes to any portion of the DNS that does not participate in the upgrade to IDN. This specification defines a mechanism called IDNA for handling them in a standard fashion and specifies an IDNA profile for domain names used as host references. IDNA allows non-ASCII characters to be represented using the same octets used in so-called host names today. This representation allows IDNs to be introduced with minimal changes to the existing DNS infrastructure. IDNA is only meant for processing domain names, not free text.


Dave Crocker (

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