ASIA-PACIFIC TELECOMMUNITY APT-ITU JOINT WORKSHOPS ON ENUM AND IDN 25-26 August 2003, Bangkok, Thailand WORKSHOP PROCEEDINGS 26th August: Workshop on IDN I. Session I: Introduction to IDN Chairman: Mr.Robert Shaw, ITU 1.1 “Introduction to IDN” was presented by Mr.Robert Shaw, ITU. Mr.Shaw discussed the two ITU resolutions (Resolution 102 and Resolution 133) made in 2002 that were related to Internet names and addresses that guided ITU’s activities towards this area. ITU’s efforts concentrate on bringing together the experts and creating a knowledge base for the member states. Discussions and decisions on ongoing national activities, role of administrations and policy issues are ITU’s major responsibilities. The DNS (Domain Name System) was defined and its functionality explained. The history of DNS was discussed and the fundamentals of the interworking of the names and addresses were highlighted. The role of the DNS as a database was also discussed. The evolution of Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) was presented along with the demand for multilingual domains. The relevant technical RFCs such as RFC 3490, RFC 3491 and RFC 3492 were explained by Mr.Shaw and their web addresses were also mentioned. Much work has to be done on the IDN administrative and policy issues. Certain difficulties encountered are mitigation of user confusion, complexity of scripts and definition of valid UNICODE points for language scripts. Certain concerns for character variants were also discussed. A draft model designed by Mr. Paul Hoffman and its methodology for registering Internationalized domain names were discussed. The ICANN IDN guidelines were presented. The presentation included the IDN implementation experiences of countries such as Korea, France and Poland. Mr.Shaw hoped that he have more similar inputs from other countries during the workshop. Mr.Shaw presented some of the IDN software tools and their related links on the web. News and updates on Internet Names and Addresses are also available at the given web ITU addresses. He outlined the difficulties and complexities that will be encountered in the near future from implementation of IDN. The complexities of IDN in turn expose the weakness of the DNS administration models. Various issues need to be resolved on the alignment of ccTLD / gTLD, internationalized Top Level domains and linguistic variants. The future activities of ITU will include more discussions on IDN implementation by bringing together experts for the benefits of others. This will develop the knowledge base of the ITU member states and there after concrete policies of the National Administrations could be determined. ITU will promote further cooperative measures at both regional and international levels, particularly with regard to assisting developing countries in their considerations of these new technologies. 1.2 “IDN activities in Japan” was presented by Mr.Hirofumi Hotta. JPRS. He briefed on the origin of the ASCII character in Internet and the limitation of the resources in computers and communication devices to implement non- ASCII character. He went on to explain the steps involved in the handling of non-English characters in e-mail and domain names. Demands on IDN rose as more and more non-English speakers are becoming Internet users. There are difficulties encountered by the non English users and therefore the demand of Internationalized Domain Names is increasing. IDN should be driven forward as it promotes the Internet usage in Asia region. He depicted a flowchart explaining the conversion of the IDN string to ASCII. Concepts of NAMEPREP (Preparation of Internationalized Host Names) and ACE (ASCII Compatible Encoding) were also presented. Technical and policy related requirements were outlined that were mandatory for the IDN registration. Japan started its 3rd-level domain name registration in 1989. Categories for registration included organizational domain names and geographical domain names. Due to the increased demand on the domain names the general-use domain names were introduced in Feb 2001. the general-use JP domain names were of 15 characters. The string consisted of Chinese, Kana and ASCII characters. Certain Japanese domain names were reserved for educational organizations, international inter-governmental organizations, administrative, judicial and legislative agencies. There was a gradual phase by phase introduction of the registration. The results of priority registration and concurrent registration were presented. Realistic statistics were provided on number of traditional and general-use domain names within Japan. Major deployment activities within Japan include education on many sites, plug-in for Internet Explorer, development of tool-kit and website redirection. The Japan Domain Names Association consists of members such as ISPs, Application/Hardware vendors, domain name registrars and universities. Examples of i-Nav and web redirection were presented. Q & A: Q) Mr.Narayan (APT): In slide 20, there was a graph showing that there Were two drops in the graph in the Japanese domain names. Could you please explain the reason for the drops. A) Mr.Hotta (JPRS) explained that initially both the Japanese and English usage curves show a sharp increase because the users went on to reserve in advance. The first drop in the curve represents the 5% or 6% users that did not renew the registration names due to the renewal fee charged to them. The second drop was seen after the standardization of the registration policies. Country Presentations: Korea: Mr.Shin (KRNIC) explained in brief about the “Hangeul.kr” domain name, IETF(2002) and ICANN (2003). Three stages of the Korean registration policy and plans were presented. The schedule of the launch was presented. Regarding registration statistics: 153 Reserved Words Requested, 3406 Requests Certified and 5308 Requests Rejected. Dr.Calvano (Head of ITU Regional Office): He greeted the distinguished Delegates and all participants. He mentioned that this kind of workshop is very important and beneficial to the developing countries. He thanked the APT staff for their contribution in organizing such a workshop. He wished everyone a fruitful outcome of the deliberations. Maldives : “Report on Numbering and Naming was presented by Mr.Iiyas Ahmed from the Ministry of communication, Science & Technology. Maldives is assigned the country top level domain “.mv”. The country domain is currently managed by a Telecom Company but plans have been made to take over the management of the country domain name by the Telecom Regulatory Authority. Maldives uses the three-letter sub-domain such as .com, .org, .gov. The Maldives current E.164 numbering plan has a uniform 6-digit format. All calls are dialled using the full 6-digit number. Maldives is currently in the stage of development with respect to domain names and will soon be at par with the other developing countries. Nepal: “ Status of ENUM and IDN in Nepal” was presented by Mr.Surendra Lal Hada from Nepal Telecommunications Authority. He informed that Nepal is currently an observer as far as the ENUM developments are concerned. Nepal in the grass root level and is currently learning from other countries that have already implemented ENUM technology. On the topic of IDN, Nepal has its own ccTLD which is “.np”. there are 3000 domain name registrations under .np but it is in the ASCII code. The Nepal Government is currently planning to set up ICT terminals in remote areas and it is in these areas multilingual features will be useful so that the backward communities can access the net in their native language. At present the .np domain names are assigned for free of cost on a first come first basis. The second level domains are allotted on the basis of the government, educational and communication functional bodies. Mr.Hada emphasized that this kind of workshops and discussion are very useful for his country and all developing countries. II. Session II: Management of Internet Domain Names: Multilingual or Homogenous. Chairman: Mr.Bruce Matthews, ACA 2.1 “Intellectual Property Consideration” was presented by Ms.Eun Joo Min. She highlighted the distinction between Trademark and Domain Names and presented the WIPO Domain Name process. The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and its decisions were discussed. The Intellectual property issues within a multilingual context as raised by IDN need further analysis. Certain disputed domain names were presented. The Domain Name panellists are multilingual people and experts in the use of non-ASCII characters who are well familiar with local laws. WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center is acting as a dispute resolution service provider. Internet web links were provided for the dispute resolution service and to get access to the decisions of UDRP. 2.2 “National Sovereignty issues in management of IDN” was presented by Mr.Richard Hill. He outlined the general conditions on languages and ccTLDs that were necessary for the participants to proceed further with the presentation. He went on to brief ICANN’s position with regard to the language issues on IDN. Opinions of the ccTLDs were presented in details that involved the cooperation with ICANN. ccTLD policies are national issues and the IANA function should be carried out by a trusted international body. The ccTLD issues must be resolved locally. The role of ICANN should be purely related to technical coordination. ICANN’s decision should not bind the ccTLDs. In certain issues there should be procedures that must be mutually agreed by governments and ccTLDS. Mr.Hill also presented the CENTr’s position, implementation and issues on IDN. He gave a clear explanation of ITU’s involvement based on the Resolution 133. ITU also instructs the secretary general to carry out three major responsibilities related to IDN. He further explained about ITU and its activities within its domain. He gave an example of ITU-T’s work in ENUM implementation. He explained in detail about ITU’s situation with respect to its activities, efforts on international coordination, ITU membership within the private sector and its internationally recognized Recommendations. Several answers to important questions were presented on ITU policies activities on ccTLDs. ITU proposed that the private-sector organizations and governments could work together to agree to the ITU-T Recommendations on IDN. Concerned parties could also engage in dialog with ITU-T to further explore this area. 2.3 “Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC) and Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)” was presented by Dr.S.Subbiah on behalf of Mr.Khaled Fattal (Minc Chairman & CEO). He started his presentation by emphasizing that most of the present Internet applications such as protocols, email, ftp, routing and even telecommunications documents use English as its prime language. However, there is no need for all non- English users to learn ASCII if the Internationalization of the Domain Names is successful. An important function of the Minc is to create a global Internet by bringing all the multilingual users at the same platform. The multilingualisation of the Internet should be the final objective. Minc recognizes that the fundamental pre-requisites to achieve such a Globalized Internet are the legitimate language tables and their variants, Interoperability testing and coordination efforts among members. He listed the steps that should be taken to benefits the citizens of the IDN regions. He also informed that Minc has been undergoing restructuring since October, 2002 and its new policies will be announced soon. He stated that Minc’s strength is derived from the language communities under which several working groups operate throughout the world. Through its language working groups, Minc is uniquely qualified in IDN as a bottom-up organization representing the IDN while being recognized as a leader in global communities and its organizations. He also mentioned the names of the board of Directors in his organization and their heritage. Several implementation activities were suggested by him such as local/global alliances, awareness raising activities, discussion and research on Multilingual Internet Names and providing cross- country/culture communication and cooperation among members. He mentioned that Minc is committed to leading and delivering true Multilingualisation of the global internet to the masses of the IDN regions and their ability to access the global internet in their own language for a truly Global Internet. He concluded by saying that the future of IDN and global Internet lies in the willingness of what we want it to become and whether we are working for it. He stressed that the most essential factor is the empowerment of the people of the IDN regions to take charge of their own destiny. “A Quick Survey of National experiences in IDN Deployment Worldwide” was presented by Dr.S.Subbiah on behalf of Mr.Khaled Fattal (Minc Chairman & CEO). He explained the unique representation of the MINC which is Multi-cultural, Multi-racial and have Multi-organisation linkages. He briefed the history of the MINC Interoperability since 2001 to the present and also referred to the Press Release that has been open to public. He highlighted the Interoprability issues (PASS) and pointed out the mismatching elements. The Testbed rootservers and its features were also discussed. Its coordination functions were highlighted. The MINC Interop Testbed process is persistent and consistent. The database is cumulative. It is Internet engineering based sustainable model and has Inter Organizational backing. He invited the ccTLDs to work with MINC and its partners. MINC will work with ITU to reach out to ccTLDs with IDN requirements. “MINC- Multilingual Internet Names Consortium” was presented by Prof.S.Subbiah, MINC. He outlined the various objectives of MINC and its role cooperation among international organizations. He listed the key activities of MINC which includes forums for discussions, regular meetings, creation of stakeholder groups, operation of Inter-operability test beds and development of language tables. He also briefed the Pre-MINC history and its relevant activities. He went on to highlight the key milestones and achievements of MINC and also date wise listed the commercial launches of IDN with respect to the country, language, type, and organization. The future activities will involve IDN launches, Hknic, vnic, lanic, cxnic and aenic. “IDN deployment in Indian Languages” was presented by Prof S.subbiah. He went on to introduce the various languages within India. He outlined the diversity and overlaps between languages such as Urdu and Tamil and discussed the problems in encoding. There has been some progress made on certain issues by INFITT (International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil). The INFITT structure was explained and its activities and efforts towards the Internationalisation of Domain Names were discussed. The deployment of gTLDs in Tamil Nadu state, deployments of Hindi and Telegu domain names were discussed. MINC has been involved with INFITT since 2000 and INFITT is determined to participate aggressively and as a leader in the IDN movement. The primary mission of INFTT is to facilitate the ancient Tamil language and its sister Indian languages to remain current, vibrant and modern by keeping up with global IT developments, particularly in English. III. Session III: IDN: The Technical Perspective Chairman: Mr.Hugh Railton, APT 3.1 “IDN Technology, Status, Overview and Directions” was presented by Dr. John C. Klensin. He analyzed the terminologies of IDN and its various interpretations. He stressed the need for looking at this issue earlier in order to avoid confusion within the policy and regulatory frameworks. He mentioned the IETF encoding standards and local variations and also summarized the history of the LDH name. He highlighted that most internet application protocols have been defined for ASCII or at least seven-bit characters. It is not wise to wait for applications to be upgraded as it could be a long wait. He also presented the IETF IDNA Standard on Domain Names. Current status of IETF and ICANN were also discussed. Certain confusions exist regarding the “look- alike” characters which will make the alphabetic language problem harder. Major issues that need discussion are multilingual strings, Labels and “names”, variant charging in JET-like models, DNS hierarchy and new types of dispute problems. Technical interoperability issues were also discussed. Problems that IDN does not solve include the registration policy issues, applications and local character sets and DNS search mechanism. The policy issues on the registration of non-ASCII characters, multilingual database, records reading and information about variants and IDN package contents need to be addressed. An insight to the IDN economics also brings out that the Domain Name Market has collapsed and the monopoly of multilingual TLDs do not seem to go in a proper direction. Competition and policy issues need further considerations. In the future there will be a need to implement IDN on a per-zone and per- application basis. It will be necessary to identify new dispute resolution policies, interfaces and interoperability problems. He further explained that there is an increasing trend in the use of search engines and internet- specific portals. There remains more separation between “searching” and “retrieval” and we have to deal with the problem of deliberately populated directories. In conclusion, he pointed out that the IDN deployment is starting and will succeed but there is a considerable need for all involved parties to learn. It’s a difficult road ahead to attain a globally accessible Internet with multilingual features. IDNs are, at best, a useful tool in effective localization and use in user languages and scripts. There is a need to balance the localization, internationalisation and user experience to be able to successfully implement IDN. IV. Session IV: Closing Session Chairman: Mr.A,Narayan, APT Mr.Narayan in his concluding comments mentioned that in the coming years ENUM will progress but still the direction of progress has not been defined clearly. Most probably ENUM will be fully defined by 2005 but for a selected clientele on a shared network. An exclusive ENUM network will take more time and will materialize in due course. The global licensing, soverenty and regulatory aspects will gradually unfold itself. However, business and commercial aspect of ENUM will have to be studied and analyzed in a far greater detail. ITU have been leading the way in ENUM and IDN and providing clear directions for the member countries to follow. ITU and APT will jointly work together to raise the level of awareness on these new topics. He also mentioned that the countries who adopt the “wait and see” approach might have a disastrous consequence and recommended them to be interactive. Countries who are interactive will gain control over the implementation of these new technologies. An important point that needs to be addressed is at what point do the industry take control in such activities. 4.1 The Way Forward: Dr. Klensin pointed out a list of websites that have been mentioned in his presentation. Those websites contain sufficient information on DNS issues and economic implications. A working group report is being developed by UNAS which will contain information on Domain Name Systems, search techniques, policy recommendations and various other informative topics. 4.2 Panel Discussion: The Panellist : Mr.Narayan (APT), Dr.Robert Shaw (ITU), Mr.Richard Hill (ITU), Mr.Bruce Matthews (ACA), Dr.John C.Klensin and Mr.Hugh Railton (APT). Dr. Shaw commented that the primary goal for ITU was to share the visions of member countries and experts from all parts of the world. He commented that in the near future ITU and APT will work together on these issues and will require a very active participation and cooperation from the member countries. Mr.Bruce Matthews commented that apart from the resolution of technical issues it is necessary also to simultaneously focus on jurisdiction, regulatory and policy issues within the region. Based on the final results, commercial viability of ENUM and IDN can be determined. Mr.Railton expressed his concerns of the result of the ongoing trials which might have a significant negative impact on the existing network on a global scale. 4.3 Conclusion: IDN raises a number of complex non-technical, policy issues, many of which can only be resolved at national (or sub-national) level. In some cases, Member States either at a national or regional level need to act as facilitators, particularly when there is no clear language authority, in order to promote effectively the internationalisation of domain names and addresses of their respective languages. The role of WIPO in guarding against misuse of intellectual property rights in the use of Member States languages for domain names and addresses was recognized. Attention was drawn to WIPO’s current initiatives with respect to ccTLDs. Given the nature of the issues, it is probably better to think things through before wide-scale commercial implementations, rather than trying to undo or redo later what was done without adequate consultation and input from all concerned parties. It would appear easier and safer to adopt relatively narrow or restrictive rules at first, and then expand as understanding grows, rather than adopting very permissive rules at the beginning and they trying to restrict what was previously permitted. Among the issues to be considered are the following: 1. Tradeoffs between more flexible, open registration policy (more risk of confusion, deception, fraud, interoperability problems) vs. less open policy (reduces possible competition, economic growth). 2. National policies should be developed, wherever possible taking into account related developments, especially for the same or related languages, in particular in the regional level. In particular: Definition of the relevant UNICODE code points and variants Decide whether particular characters in a registered domain name should result in the registration of multiple “equivalent” domain names and whether these instantiations (bundles) should be added to the registration or reserved 3. Dispute resolution issues should be considered, in particular the advisability (or not) of a clear definition of “confusingly similar” and the advisability (or not) of requiring evidence of “legitimate interest” prior to registration. 4. Attention should be given to local character codings and Unicode mapping and possible inter-operability problems (non-availability of a given script in a given country). 5. Support increased use of search tools other than the DNS itself (search engines, portals, keywords, directories, etc.) 6. Education is key: support early and extensive education. This should point out the difficulties and set realistic consumer and provider expectations. 7. Support work on standardizing scripts for languages. 8. Share information on experiences, in particular with respect to test bed results.