26th August Workshop on IDN

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					                       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.

				
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