Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities for Internationalized Domain Names
REAL TIME TRANSCRIPT: Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities for
Internationalized Domain Names
11:15-12:30, Wednesday 16 June 2010
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Welcome back, this session is about challenges or
opportunities for internationalised domain names, can I
know invite Professor Izumi Aizu to start the session
and introduce the panel speakers for us.
This will be an interesting session, the overall
team is diverse theme.
As many speakers already said Asia and Pacific has
large earth sort of different groups of economy, ethnic
religious language, whatever.
Diversity sounds great, but to make it work, in this
world, is not sometimes so great. It’s often blood,
sweat and tears.
Today, I would like to pick up together with you,
the one cased called internationalised domain name, IDN.
It’s just a case study. It’s not the end by itself.
We are very happy to have very interesting line up
Actually, we have to speakers will give you
interesting presentations, followed by case reports,
from those TLDs, who have successfully introduced or
going to introduce their IDNs on both in the CC space as
well as in the case of DotAsia, the G space.
Before going into that, I really would like to thank
all the people who made this whole forum possible and
also the Hong Kong’s wonderful hosts.
But without further ado, I would like to start from
say 20 years ago or 15, the origin of the
internationalised domain name.
Can we, whilst the story starts from there.
>>Tan Tin Wee: Thank you very much. Good morning, thank
Thank you for the invitation for me to come here as
controversial statements and as Director General says,
stir it up and to come here as the first Asian Pacific
Thank you to all of you, old friends, comrades in
the internet, colleagues.
So it’s puzzling to me, as a professor in the
medical school at the National University of Singapore,
and as the deputy head in the Department of
Biochemistry, and a pioneer of biometrics, that whenever
I get dragged out of the woodwork to an internet policy
it tends to raise eyebrows both ways, particularly shock
amongst my internet colleagues to find a fake
unqualified misfit like myself to actually be in their
Indeed, why would a biochemist be involved in the
internet, I mean, championing global multilingualisation
of the internet at that.
Indeed, the generosity and camaraderie of friends
I have made in championing many initiatives as pioneer
doctor of innovator technologies in the early 90s,
a late comer, but made up for good time, from WAIS,
gopher, remember CU see me, or slip or PPP, and of
course WWW, how about VRML, music mark up notation
language, I was involved in that, PO box mail forwarding
for biochemist, it must be quite a challenge, internet
for the hearing impaired, the visually handicapped,
multilingual content, Java in 1995, internet 2 to the
grid and cloud computing of today.
Yes, the friendship of many friends here and
colleagues have made up for all the pain and financial
loss and collateral damage suffered as the victim of
innovation, suppression, not unlike that which Keith
Davidson alluded to in the previous session, the
governments might be complicit in, particularly the kind
of subtle suppression associated with the origins of
IDNs in the late 1990s, which, of course, I stand guilty
So please forgive me in advance if I’m too blunt in
my independent and unfettered comments and hopefully
moderated by the kindness of Izumi and hopefully not too
biased in my comments on IDNs origins.
This, of course, is an old story, but a new and
longer way of presenting it to be sure, eating into your
lunchtime, I’m sure.
So let me present you a new good script for reality
IDN is the acronym for initialised domain names.
The origins of IDN is indeed in Asia and it is quite
appropriate for this first AP Regional Internet
To at least have a few words mentioned about IDN, if
not an entire session.
The reason why domain names have to be
internationalised is because it’s been and still is
natively in the ASCII range of Latin characters, the so
called LDH, letters digits and hyphen. So make it
support and visual representation of all the languages
of the world in the global internet, we have had to
resort to the process of internationalising the domain
This, of course, did not come easy, nor was it the
rationale for doing it obvious to the powers that be 12
years ago, some say even now, especially when it was
1998 when we first started it in Asia.
So it was said, let them all learn English. That
was the mantra.
Let them bridge the digital divide themselves.
I mean, if you want to use the internet, which we
have labelled and fought very hard to create and unify,
it’s just like if you want to write computer programme
or publish a scientific programme or fly a plane, you
can jolly well my friend reminded us as the of analogy
I used 10 yearss ago while trying for the difficult IDN
movement. Based on the IDN system, which had built and
tested in Asia in 1998.
The paraphrase story goes.
If the internet were invented not by Al Gore, but by
a bunch of programmers from Thailand, who chose the Thai
character set as the basis for rendering easily
memorable strings indeed of a bunch of four IP address
numbers, would anyone of us here except our Thai reading
friends be able to use the would be able to be use to
Surely we could write an email in English, but we
would have to memorise the email address of our friends
in the Thai alphabet.
And over the phone, to keep in touch, OK, because
I’m reachable at this Google email address in Thai
characters and here, let me write it down for you and
don’t forget to load your Thai keyboard on your qwerty
computer or else you would not be able to reach me.
Or perhaps come to my Facebook and blog site in
English, but you would have to navigate here in this
series of Thai alphabets, otherwise you will be locked
This is the kind of linguistic barrier endured by
the millions of non native English speaking non Latin
character using people every day today. Ever since the
web became popular in their regions, more than 15 years
Back in the summer of 1993, when Mark Anderson and
Eric by that at NCSA got hold of WWW code from Tim Lee
and released the graphical interface to the web, and
opened the floodgates of the internet. The rest was
Or was it?
The earliest web browser could not support
multilingual characters. Neither could your favourite
pine emailer from a terminal innovation that was seven
bit clean. But we could scan images of Chinese
characters for instance and put them on-line as web
images. So in 1994, as early as that, we were one of
the first few to put Chinese characters on-line as
We used a converter to convert the Chinese encodings
and turn them into images.
Why wait? We asked.
By 1995, we were able to make use of the earliest
version of unicode to turn unpopular unicode encodings
into give I imagines, in the summer of 1995, when goes
Ling released Java, we were the first few to build an
image convert engine and later a gentleman have input
engine by end of 1995, we were able to lawn multilingual
characters on the web site, putting on multilingual
content was the key priority. For the global masses.
By 1996, we even helped our Sri Lankan friends build
a try listening wall website, perhaps to soothe ethnic
By 1997, multilingual support began to come on
board, thankfully, a few years after netscape when IPO
in 1995 and Microsoft released internet explorer.
They had to cater for the small but certainly
growing demand in the internet communities especially in
the Far East.
By the first quarter of 1998, it became clear to me
that the bottleneck now was not the content, but it was
at the labels and the addresses. The domain names in
your web address or in your email address.
We had to figure out a way to solve this divisive
The digital divide that was looming ahead.
Why wait indeed?
There was no way the IETF at that time could
countenance the change the installed base of domain name
DNS servers that could read to make it read unicode or
any of its UTF transformations. To make it backwards
compatible with ASCII.
Nor was it likely that any of the Asians working in
Asia for multilingual internet able to penetrate
a tightly knit club of internet engineers highly
proticktive of their precious bay they that was making
a global debut. This was back in 1998. Today I hear we
are going IETF is going to Beijing soon.
But this was after the victorious fight against the
OSI from the late 1990s as to 1994, you know,
reminiscent of the so-called standard war that we are
familiar with VHS, Betamax, TCP/IP over OSI.
As Daniel was quoted as saying, it was totally
irrational to make the international R&D community wait
for international standards.
He was saying that we should adopt TCP/IP over OSI
at that time.
This was especially when UNIX was built with TCPIP
and all one needed was a UNIX box and a modem and
everyone who wants to be connected can be connected.
Why wait, the argument went.
But for us, it was different.
After that kind of bloody network war, no one had
the stomach for anyone who wanted to touch the
fundamental infrastructure of the TCPIP internet that
the DNS system had to affect.
So the accepted wisdom was that you cannot support
multilingual characters for domain names and you should
not, because it has to be a machine readable label which
engineers far and wide can read, besides, it wouldn’t
work, they said.
Now, I didn’t know that, did I? I was a Cambridge
biochemist, a UCL biotechnologist and an Edinburgh
molecular biologist working in the Department of
Biochemistry at the National University of Singapore.
But seconded to run the internet service provider of
Singapore in 1994 and asked to run the Internet Research
and Development Unit, I was pretty naive, wasn’t I?
After I sold the ISP for 2.5 million for on behalf
of the university in 1995, they gave me 2 million bucks,
here, you go do more internet research.
I had to deliver results. I couldn’t wait. So
I went through the invention of IDNs, demonstrated
results then. Perhaps now, hopefully, with a global
That was in 1998, around about March to May, when
I got my programmers to build a proxy domain name system
to convert multilingual characters in whatever language
encodings and get them converted into backwards
compatible as I can.
With dug around around found Martin desk at
Worldwide Web Consortium, having newly moved from
university of Zurich across to Japan and he had taken up
a dare by his network engineer friends and showed on
paper that his UTF5 conversion, this was in 1996, could
support a seven bit clean DNS system. This was first
described when he was in the university of Zurich and
the internet drafts which I downloaded yesterday. I’ll
show that. This was back in 1996.
This was of course shortly after France was and his
team set up the A list technologies. You remember that.
Set up standards for multilingual HTML and
internationalisation of the URL, RFC2070. But neither
Martin nor France was got around to having it I prettied
in a working model. France what was busy with Alice
technologies for translation and multilingual content,
and Martin was starting up in Worldwide Web Consortium.
So my team and I in the internet R&D unit at the
university of Singapore put the whole thing together,
the first as a proxy solution.
We also adapted the view row level domain name of
the hidden ZLD of Martin’s design, which still today
China has been using for .China and .com in Chinese,
since the IDNA standards emerged in 2003, under licence
from our university spin off company which we set up
back then, which is of course still surviving today,
despite the decade of delays by groups of people
I loosely attribute as the so-called ICANN process.
Our investors put in US$4 million and then 20
million and just about lost it all.
At that time, I also served as the newly elected
chairman of the Asian Pacific networking group, APNG,
from 1997 to 1999, because the same group that set up
APNIC as a project first run by David Conrad and now by
Paul Wilson, very successfully.
We also set up APTLD, if you recall. Of course, the
failed WWTLD too.
You can tell from the logo of APTLD that it was
quite unprofessionally done, with PowerPoint and
a screen grab, because I too ran their first website
APTLD.org and WWTLD.org and Korea and he had to have
a logo, a nice little logo and that was the fastest
I could use, draw an elliptical blog and stick in the
words APTLD and have some shading and then stick in the
I’m impressed that he hasn’t changed, still there.
Until that time, Asia was actually playing catch up
to Europe, which was also catching up on the Amranet, to
the NSF transition in the US. We all bought into the
internet as the global information infrastructure.
This seemed to be our only contribution.
As chairman of APNG, I had set up several chairman’s
initiatives and research decisions, one for disability
access and the other was, of course, multi-ling wall
Being a lean outfit APNG was, whatever
I commissioneded I had to deliver it myself.
So to cut a long story, why wait? We had to get
Asia to contribute technological advanced to the
internet rather than wait pass civil to receive new
technologies from the west as early technology adopters.
But this contribution was not to be. We faced
numerous obstacles and as we now know, a 12 year delay.
These were political roadblocks mostly, not really
engineering, since the IDNs that trumpeted worldwide
today with star fish power is still very much the same
IDNA standards which is very much fundamentally the same
backward compatibles aski compatible encoding system we
had a full implementation of by 1998.
So why did we have to wait?
First ira magcy that was tasked by president Bill
Clinton to go around the world to get everyone to buy
this idea that vice-president gore was the inventor of
the internet, I just here, and to make the US preeminent
in internet technologies and put in place industry led
mechanisms, private sector mechanisms, to manage its
operation, namely the names and the numbers and to get
the industry to run it rather than have government
So he went round the world with Esther, the first
chair of ICANN, to sell a watered down white paper,
remember the IFWP? This was after the green paper reply
to the IHAC’s GTLD MOU was shot down by upset people
from the European theatre.
So in the summer of 1998, we were there building our
IDN systems while the whole world was engrossed with the
international forum of the white paper, internet
governance was making its circuits, starting from Geneva
and wended it way to Singapore in August 1998, where we
naively showed ICANN delegates our wonderful system to
bridge the linguistic barrier of the digital haves and
The US Government was on tense bring looking for
a new private stack holder led organisation to perform
the role of internet governance.
This was the big global fight they were talking
about. White paper versus all comers. No time for puny
folks solving digital divide props while they were
preoccupied with that struggle.
The IDN people have to wait. That is what this in
fact origin of the IDN in 1998 illfated to be coincident
with the less than legitimate birth of the ICANN tainted
by the same brush of illegitimacy that ICANN was at that
time shrouded in, from its inception and some say still
Obviously IDN was ignored by 1998 for good reason.
It had to be obviously they were busy with the survival
of the global information infrastructure in the throws
of struggling with its governance processes.
These were the important issues of the day.
IDN was deemed without commercial worth in 1999, we
proved it by commercialising I DNS into I DNS net
international and received the $4 million investment and
later $20 million investment from investor which
I mentioned earlier.
Meanwhile, over IDN companies with their own
solutions were also being invent and and re-invented
from Jason powerful less in Australia, the first
superannuation.net to Edmon Chung’s net ca, back in
those days, to Wah lid tout’s patents to the many that
subsequently emerged, from teeth tier’s real names,
remember that one, Thai URLs, netpyia and other IDN
mimics to alternative roots to host these IDNTLDs.
Those were the heady days. One hellfire of foment
and fiery interest in domain names or mimics in your own
language by the dot-com boom of 2000, but hang on.
Wait. IDN, you have no standards. Wait. So I sent my
student James Tseng, who was transferred from ANU back
to NUS, returned to in 1999 to work on IDNs and for the
company I DNS.net. Of course, the rest was history.
After four years of engineering squabbles and internet
are you lidge house wars, we all settled in 2003 on
a set of standards, technical RFC standards collectively
called the IDNA, to push the backward compatibility to
application level and that A in IDNA was the application
level solution as opposed to the server solution that we
had in those early days.
But wait, what about the policy and the governance
and the stakeholder process?
What are you doing about that? So all these tech
know be able was going on. We formed out of Asia in
Seoul 2000 the multilingual internet names consortium.
Arguably the first global internet organisation
originated out of Asia.
In order to drive the governance processes related
to IDNs, as Asia’s contribution, if IHC and GTHL and got
redaled by the US locomotive, MINC was a pushover. Not
even with ITU blessings of sorts to co-host workshops in
2001 with PIPO and later with UNESCO in 2006, we
couldn’t bet into the serious radar screen of ICANN
We formed Arabic internet name consortium, Chinese
domain name names, the joint engineering taskforce of
China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan agreed of all things to
CJK internationalisations, to no avail.
ICANN was just too preoccupied to countnance any
change to the root, other than what was clearly liketive
and under their control.
Once the IANA function was subordinated to ICANN
until this year when ICANN proclaimed full IDNs at the
TLD level, as a historic blessing brought to you by Tina
dam and the ICANN team let by rod, the new ICANN COE
from homeland security. Seven years it took for IDNA
standards to reach this stage, this historic stage,
where we now are able to enjoy the fruits of IDN
Seven years for IDN standards to be agreed before it
cleared ICANN’s multitude of internal processes before
it made a global rollout as Ram Mohan here, somewhere,
They worked very, very, very hard. The ICANN
processes, the test beds, the IDN2LDs, et cetera, Ram
will tell you about the engineering policy and political
rigour it went through.
So much so at the end, instead of an Asia originated
IDNs with registries and registrars from Asia running
their own IIDNs as their own invention, it will probably
be somebody else that will reap the first fruits.
For after all, haven’t we all learnt English in the
last 10 years who are waiting for go do to turn up and
we have bridged the linguistic digital divide ourselves
already. In fact, it is beneficial to learn English
We now have to pay back perhaps maybe 185,000 bucks,
hopefully with less ICANN discounts, just to check out
the domain names in our languages OK or not, in case it
were confusingly similar to the untrained westerner eye.
True, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. But
it is not an invitation to kill us, please.
It is a call for fair play.
It is a call for legitimacy of internet self
governance of the people who own their languages.
Perhaps some might say it’s a call for recompense.
Those who have lost money.
I hope edmoney, you didn’t lose too much money in
It’s a call for probity and honesty in our public
communications and to eschew over computer rant claims
for undue credit for somebody else’s original work.
Without a doubt, the origin of IDNs is in Asia. It
is our little but perhaps significant contribution for
enjoying the benefits of internet technology which we
have adopted from the west.
It is also our little attempt, our earnest attempt
to participate in the process of building and evolving
the internet architecture through proper internet
governance processes, to serve a global need, which is
obviously taken over by ICANN processes these days.
This was the original goal of IDNs, to play
a rightful role in the development of solutions and
innovations for our own problems which does not impact
on the rest of the world because we made it backwards
compatible and we were totally sold and supportive to
the idea of a unique root under ICANN’s control, some
say monopolistic control.
We now have to press our patents on various patents
of IDNs and I think Edmon, you might have a few, right?
Seek injunctive relief or retrospective royalties?
Do we want to get even with a few cents per domain name
of royalty and use of intellectual property with the
which pioneered or do we have to be pushed to create
a global all termtive competitive root because the
excesses of monopoly and absolute power are checked?
Only time and perhaps IGF will tell.
Meanwhile, worldwide wait, please. Thank you.
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you. I’m sure there are many diverse
views on the diversity of IDN, from the floor, we will
welcome you to make commentaries or comments later, but
without further ado, I would like to introduce Prof Xue
Hong, now representing Chinese Domain Name Users
Alliance and Prof Hong worked very hard within the ICANN
process when we were in the colleagues of advisory
committee. So she will tell what it takes to make the
IDN a reality within the IDN process.
>>Xue Hong: Thank you the organiser. Thank you for having
me here and thanks the chair, Izumi Aizu. This is
a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from all
experts, especially from this region.
I want to specially thanks Prof Tan whois very
insightful and visionary presentation on the history and
theories of IDNs. The last part is the most inspiring.
It sounds like Martin Luther King’s I have a dream. The
difference is we all have this dream, especially for
non-English speakers, IDN is really going to be real,
after so many policy and technical difficulty, is in
policy and technical contours, eventually it’s going to
be very real, we should really cherish the opportunity
we are having right now, but I’m not going to repeat
discussion of ICANN and IDNs. for most of us, we are
actually in the ICANN process and IDN does not make much
sense for us to repeat that part, but yesterday,
Mr Kummer, secretary general of IGF, mentioned one
issue, that is he used IDN as an example of the impact
of IGF on the global policy making, very good point.
So went through what is being discussed on IGN at
IGF, a kind of stocktaking, what has been talking about
at IGF. This is different forum, apart from ICANN, but
is also an IDN. So that will be interesting idea. So
let’s have a little review of IGF discussion.
At IGF, they follow the principle of WSIS.
A. Among this principle is language diversity
multilingualism. So at IGF, IDN issues were primarily
discussed and the main session of diversity. Apart from
that, the other main session on access, on the critical
internet resources are also the relevant forums for IDN
I went through all the four IGF meetings held in
different places. This is inaugural rating IGF held in
Athens. Now you can see that I cannot really see on
that screen, it’s too far away for me.
At Athens, IDN was identified as a nexus of
technology and policy issues.
And people agree it is important to keep the balance
between language community’s involvement in decision
making about code points and maintenance of stability
and security of the internet.
Second IGF, discussion move on. IDN was still an
intensefully discussed issue, but more people reached
the limit of IDNs, especially in creating local contents
and caveats of causing phishing and other security
It was also mentioned IDN would need to cooperate
with other application technologies, such as emails and
E address books to make IDN to be really useful.
This is the third and fourth IGF. It seems
discussion on IDN went deeper into the diversity
consideration of IDN management, which is really timely
for ICANN’s fast-track add-in ccTLD and new gTLD
programme. We suspect this diversity of management on
one hand, it was mentioned that new gTLD and regional
TLD reflecting local values, culture and history would
be managed by people from the relevant countries and
On the other hand, it was mentioned that the
importance to introduce competition in selection of
registry to run the new ITLDs.
Now a few key issues I highlight. After reviewing
IGF. The first one I summarise as multi-stakeholderism.
The second one I summarise as management issue of IDN.
The last but not least, I have summised as access
issues, security and stability issue.
Back to multi-stakeholderism, not only based on
principle of IGF practices, but also the reality of the
internet. Multi-stakeholder is the only way for the
global policy making.
There is no single sovereign state can govern the
internet. There is no single law can really regulate
the internet. There is no single international
organisation have the wide mandate to cover all the
issues on the internet and on IDN.
So we have to involve all the stakeholders. All the
relevant stakeholders are here listed on the screen.
The first group I have listed as regulators, not the
policy setting group, but also the technical group such
as ICANN. ICANN is not treaty organisation, it’s not an
inter-government all organisation, but obviously its is
making policy, very important policy, especially to
The second group I summarise is industries and
service providers. The registries, registrars, of
course they are making policies, they should be
involved. The last but not least is user group.
I labelled here as language community. IDNs as Prof Tan
very wisely mentioned, is for the people who are really
used the native scripts, they are not the people who
will really can be really frank for English. They are
the people that need the script to access internet
I have summarised here the two statement made by the
chair summary in Hyderabad IGF. Users groups and here
is language community is actually salient for the IGF
discussions, so they are not kind of outsiders or
observers, they are really stakeholder groups.
Through the multi-stakeholder dialogue on IDN, I can
see three levels for this multi-stakeholderism.
The first level is for the efficiency.
Think about this is issue on the internet, this is
an IDN, it’s highly complicated issue, even for the
information, it is difficult to go through stakeholder
group, by stakeholder group. Party by party, the one
IGO to another IGO. For the efficiency, would be better
to get everybody on the same room, on the same page, in
the same room, so that’s for efficiency, but it’s
We want deeper, we can see this is for acceptance.
Everybody on the same page will take about the same
issue, even through the rough consensus, it will enhance
the acceptability of the policy.
But eventually, I want to emphasise the last but the
most important value of multi-stakeholderism, that is
Why we are making global policies? As an
international lawyer, I’m specially concerned the lack
of global law in the international law system, now we
have an international law, but they are territorially
based and enforced. There is no really global law. But
we are now making global policies. Why are they
legitimate and why are they enforced in why ICANN is
making a policy and IGF should be enforced in any part
of the world? The only legitimate reason is that
everybody involved and everybody agreed. I guess it is
really new form of global democracy.
Of course, maybe different from the traditional
representative voting democracy.
The second part I have summised is management. Even
at IGF, people have gone into the details of how to
manage IDNs, very interesting and insightful. I can see
three critical issues on management. First, how to
choose IDN strings. Second, how to choose IDN
registries operators. Thirdly, how to decide
registration policies. Whether the registration should
be open for all or is only limited within the language
community, limited to that screen or we will allow mixed
scripts ITMs or whether we should consider other sorts
of morality or public order issues, to restrict certain
Less are the very critical issues. That is why Paul
last night mentioned IDN is more critical issue, this
more critical internet resources. So it is more
What my concern, I’m not going to go through the
details of ICANN dialogue, it is very complicated, I be
there is one issue that is so aware, especially to other
people researching international law and global policy
and global governance, that is think about IDN is
different from as ci domains. For as I can domain, as I
can default governance power after the white paper. At
that time, most sovereign states were not prepared to
govern the internet and domain name system. It is very
much technical and irrelevant to policy, but for IDN,
over 10 years, ICANN has been working on this for 10
years and many things happen in these 10 years.
For many country who are really interested in IDN,
in these 10 years, they enacted laws.
Their local laws effective in their territory.
These law governing the strings of IDN, especially top
level strings. They govern the manager and operator of
the IDN strings and they govern the registration policy.
So I do see a critical issue I hope I ICANN
stakeholder would take note athat. We should avoid the
in fact scenario of clash of government, the territorial
laws and the rules and the norms of the global
governance, how to reconcile these two strings of
governance that is very, very critical issue.
But I do note that ICANN’s fast-track ccTLD it seems
the first test of this IDN governance is going on quite
well. I know Chris is here. He knows everything about
this fast track. What’s the father of this. So far, so
For fast-track, the string must be a meaningful
representation of the ccTLD territory name.
That’s well accepted.
Following the principle and the operator, it could
be the present registry of ccTLD or new registry as far
as supported by the local governments and local language
A very good policy.
The third one is generally flexible on the
registration policy, but they must conclude contract
with ICANN, even though it will be a light contract.
So that is the practice right now. Fast-track
ccTLD. I have raised generally smooth, but for the
gTLDs will be very, very critical.
It seems many states sort of believe the kind of
ownership over the top level strings in their language.
So I wonder what would be the solution on that.
It is a public order issue, would be adjudicated
through a resolution policy.
The last point is security and stability issue.
Of course, we want to prevent and punish the cyber
crime, especially phishing. IDN fishing is a critical
and bad problem that cause terrible harm, especially for
on-line banking and also we want prevent user confusion,
even though it is not a crime, we should think about
people could be confused in IDN string.
This is an interesting, I share one example, is from
Bulgaria. Bulgaria file an application to ICANN, you
can see the string, the left, that’s actually a Cyrillic
script. They believe that is most representative string
for their CCTLT territory name in their native script.
But unfortunately, it seems very much similar to
.BR, that is ccTLD in ASCII for Brazil.
So now we see this is highly complicated issue. For
IDN confusing similarity, normally we think about two
issues. One, whether it is confusing I will similar.
In that language community, if it is Chinese character,
we think about whether it is confusing to Chinese and
secondly, we think about whether it is confusingly
similar to the relevant or language community. Say even
though it is ID. In this Chinese character, it could be
confusingly similar to Japanese, because we share many
But this is the third level. We have to think about
even though this is not a really relevant language
community, we have to think about the user confusion at
the global level, very complicated. Last but not least
is IP issue. You may be wondering why spell lek actual
property security and stability issue, because if we do
not protect intellectual property, they won’t let us
stabilise the governance of IDN.
IP industry very powerful. It’s not only powerful
ICANN is powerful in the world, they are making their
own interest secured in all the policy setting forum.
We can see the bad example of actor and couple of other
showings on this strings in last thing I want to
mention, I was reminded by Prof Tan’s mentioning of the
patents on IDN I was not prepared on this point, but
it’s an IP professor, I’m so impressed by this issue,
those technical pioneers, they are so unselfish, they
give up to enforce their patent rights, that’s terrific.
But I heard, unfortunately, some techies are prepared to
enforce their patent rights and it has been included in
the IDN standards. I must say, this is highly
dangerous. This is really will danger the security and
stability of enforcement of IDN and their enforcement is
not fair, even by law, because it is kind of violation
of the standards setting policy. They violate the
disclosure obligation. They should disclose, I have
patent here and you want to include my patent in the IDN
standards, I either give up my patent rights or I give
up my role charging rights.
My conclusion is IGF is a unique global forum for
IDN discussions. It can discuss anything about IDN, not
only the things that can be discussed in ICANN and even
the thing they not been discussed in ICANN, but is very
important for IDN, not only on technologies, but also on
I hope IGF could be producing more deliverable
output on the IDN policies.
Of course, IGF is not a decision-making forum and
never attempt to be such a forum, but according to the
recent message from UN, it is not harm to produce more
advices or recommendations on IDN issues to the
stakeholder groups and other international forums.
That’s my presentation. Thank you very much.
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you Professor Hong for your very
insightful interesting and forward looking intervention.
Now you may see why we chose IDN as a best topic to
talk about in diversity from this region.
From origin to making reality, now the task of
carried by these speakers. With the help of APTLD,
because we have difficulty in selecting the speakers,
because so many ccTLDs in Asian Pacific are going to
introduce or introducing the IDNs. So which one to
select was a challenge, but anyway, there are three case
reports or four.
Also, gTLD.Asia, but which order. Is China ready?
Shariya Haniz Zulkifli, please, from Malaysia.
>>Izumi Aizu: Unfortunately, I give only five minus
>>Shariya Haniz Zulkifli: Hi again.
Again, it’s to talk about Malaysia’s experience with
regards to IDN and I do feel that what we have gone
through is obviously very different from some of the
other countries. I’m assuming that some, most of you,
have been to Kuala Lumpur. I’m sure you would have
noticed that our signposts are in Roman alphabets.
The issue that we have for IDN as I mentioned, is
not the same way as it is for Hong Kong, China, Japan,
But we do have other scripts that communities use.
We have a multiracial community. This is why we are
thinking of introducing IDNs to .my.
That was a bit of context setting.
There are three scripts that we are looking at.
Jawi, which is a subset of the Arabic script,
Chinese and Tamil characters.
Again, this is a reflection of the communities that
exist in Malaysia.
The target date for IDN launch in Malaysia and for
us it is at the second level, is in December this year
and we feel that it will benefit many Malaysians, in
particular those communities that use these three
Just a bit more updates, we have our policy
committee still ongoing. They’re meeting again next
month in July, so that should have a few more
interesting items for us, in particular whether we are
going to use a mix of traditional and simplified Chinese
that’s still up in the air for us.
We are very excited for June, because we are
actually conducting a survey to see the preparedness or
readiness of Malaysians in accepting and using IDNs, so
I hope to have an update on this actually at our next
Who are the policy committee members? I expect to
hear a few groans from the floor, it is headed by a law
A cross-section, cyber security, other lawyers, we
work very closely with our national standards body and
also a few representatives from the ISPs.
Whatever policy documents that are formed would have
to go to the regulator MCMC for them to endorse or
The IDN test bed is on, so if you would like to take
a look, that’s the URL. These slides will be provided
to the secretariat. It also has our virtual keyboards.
Some information on milestones again, you can take
a look at them, if you’re interested.
What I do want to point out here is that as far as
the top level domain IDNs are concerned, we are still
taking a much closer look at this. As I explained,
there are three scripts that we are looking at. So we
are still reviewing this and we’ll keep you posted.
That’s the second level implementation plan, in
This is a screenshot of our virtual keyboard.
For the Jawi keyboard we worked again closely with
the standards Malaysian, for Chinese and Tamil, it was
more readily available.
.my domain registry submitted our Jawi language
table in June to IANA, so we are still waiting for some
I do need to stress that we have very much looked to
other ccTLDs, other countries for guy dances. Of
course, there are others who have pioneered this, so for
Jawi, which is a subset of Arabic, we have looked to
Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. For Tamil, India has
been a strong source and of course for Chinese, CTNC.
In fact, for Chinese and Tamil, we will probably
just adopt these existing tables.
Some examples of our websites, these are Chinese
websites for the Malaysian market.
Tamil, Jawi, et cetera.
Just to share with you that local content
development is very important for Malaysia.
There was some information on Dr Sharil’s slides
yesterday on what MCMC is doing to push the development
of local content. There are also other grants given out
by other development agencies, such as the multimedia
Of course, content is a key growth area for national
Just to quickly wrap up with impact of IDN,
obviously because there is this content in the local
scripts, obviously having the local script at the domain
name level will complete the process.
We hope that this will further enhance the ties
between the cultural groups in Malaysia.
Some of the language professors were very excited
about IDN, because it meant that this would share our
Malaysian, I was going to say peculiarities, but unique
words in how we express ourselves and share this
For me personally, I feel that translation will
become very, very important to bridge these various
scripts and I’m very happy to read a few days ago that
the education ministry is considering looking into
making Mandarin and Tamil compulsory in national
schools, so they are looking into that.
If this creates new employment opportunities in
students and languages and linguistics, all the better.
The Chinese, Indian and Middle East markets are very
important to Malaysian businesses, so we hope that IDNs
will help facilitate this as well.
>>Izumi Aizu: Just one quick question, I’m sorry, Shariya,
do you have any target date for introduction?
>>Shariya Haniz Zulkifli: It has to be by December 2010.
>>Izumi Aizu: That’s short.
While waiting for the projector to be connected,
let’s see. How many of you guys plan to register your
domain in IDN? Could you raise your hand? Have you
seriously considered it yourself will plan to register
your IDN domain name?
Not too many yet. It’s sort of a certain question,
but hope that we’ll see more hard next year regional
But without further delay, Ms Tulika Pandey from
India, the Ministry of Information Communication
Technology. Very diverse country of India. How many
IDNs do you need? It’s interesting question.
>>Tulika Pandey: Good afternoon, everybody. I would first
like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers
for organising this Asian Pacific so soon and so well
that it has brought representation from almost all of
our countries, which is in Asian Pacific.
I would like to thank Izumi Aizu for giving me this
opportunity to talk about the diverse situation in case
of IDNs in India.
I have decided not to let technology be a hindrance
to my quick run through of what it implies for us in
Most of you by now are by heart aware of India
having 22 languages supported by 11 scripts and we have
around 2,000 dialects.
So the issue of IDN implementation, so the effort
for us for IDN implementation would really be very
We have around four major language families. Out of
these 22, we have the representation that you can see,
that is and many of the Himalayan languages are still
However, are for sure that we at least have 22
official languages identified and supported by 11
Just to give you a flavour of what the country is,
35 states and territories, a mix of usage of languages
as the official lack.
If you see, you have Bangla used both in Assam and
Bengal. And they now read the script that is used,
Hindi is used in many states.
So this was the easy part. If you had one language
supporting many states, it was an easy part for us.
The difficult part was if you look at the last, the
scripts that are there, to manage all these languages,
so that made it complex for us.
Just to give you a flavour of the demand for
language in our country, we have the young, they are
interested in this technology. They are very keen on
using technology for.
Yes, the citizens who are now in the middle age or
beyond are also finding it convenient to use this
technology for their purposes.
There is a demand for many language in the country
and since I have very short time, I am going to just
skip through some of the slides and say that we have
these challenges of standards, because you had multiple
input and storage of the same string. Therefore, you
could actually get the same string through two different
methods and therefore, you had two different code points
for the same string.
Therefore, it was very important for us to see that
these get normalised.
In the case of the unicode, we have unicode version
3.2 for IDNs and 5.2 today.
The 5.2 covers most of our character scripts and we
would be happy if that is allowed for IDN
Last but not the least, we have multiple languages
from the same code page.
So the code page would be shared by at least 7 to 8
languages and therefore, it is very important for us to
United Kingdom I will identify the language character
set for each language.
In addition, we have the drawbacks of not really
having taken on language and encoding protection in some
time, so we are in the process.
We are ready with dictionaries, spell checkers and
these which are very important for supporting many
The text to speech and the speech to text support is
coming up very fast.
We have demonstrated or almost 90 per cent accuracy
there, but the OCRs the optical character recognition
systems, are still not of the level that wore support
a lot of Indian languages coming on board.
Most important, as mentioned earlier, too,
translation tools are most important to us.
So that we, amongst the same country, are able to
communicate between two different language, linguistic
I can skip these slides.
The one important part is the trade marks are in
indik scripts, so we do not know how to handle issues of
These are the important linguistic challenges that
I would like to bring forth. I already mentioned that
one language written in more than one script and one
script supports more than one language.
We have variants not just within the same script,
but across the scripts.
If we include numerous written in our Indian
scripts, we would have an issue of scripts and the
numerals getting mixed up to form strings which would
look very similar to words, to characters made out of
the variants there.
Then we have both type of scripts. We have script
written left to right and we have languages where right
So we have to manage them, too.
There is a very common use of intermixing of scripts
to write in many languages.
The most important, we have above and below. To
manage above and below that URL that is available to us.
That makes us very difficult to handle home graphic
issues of that font size.
So we needed standards, we do have some. We manage
to use unicode page. We essentially needed script
tagging with languages and we needed fonts which are
uniform and is acceptable to all browsers.
We needed interface tools, so we talked about fonts
and keyboards, we have developed those.
And for registration, we have developed a back-end
registration process, using.
We have also identified the language character table
and the variant table.
I do not know if I can — these are some of the
policy issues that we have incorporated in our draft
policy which is present as RFC for the community at
large to comment, so that we are able to finalise the
policy for IDN implementation, both at the ccTLD and the
This is what it would look like for Indian scripts.
This is only one script that I have put forth here as an
What we have done is to only taking variants, not
pure consonants. Because if we had we would have
debarred more than 80 per cent of domain names per
Therefore, we had to agree that pure consonants,
even if they look very close to each other, are
identifiable by the native speakers and therefore, we
will not use them as variant, in the variant tables.
This was an example for Hindi, which is in the
script. What we have done is identified for Hindi from
the table, the unicode table.
These are the restriction rules, I can’t go through
that now. It has very little — this is the ABN
effective that we have identified. For each of these
languages, we have brought out unique ABNF policy rules.
We have unique language character tables and you teak
Yes, we have the floating keyboards available to our
registrants and registrars.
>>Izumi Aizu: I really need to ask you to wrap up.
>>Tulika Pandey: I was just giving an example. We did also
do a study on what the browsers respond to our Indian
script content. Therefore, this was what we have
realised is beyond IE6 internet explorer 6.0, we are
able to go through the I Indian pages.
These are the last slide. We share Hindi with Fiji,
Urdu with Pakistan, Bangla are Bangladesh, Nepali with
Nepal, Tamil with Singapore, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and
our intent is to normalise our language character tables
and variant tables as far as possible, so that we are
all on the same page and there are no issues in the
future gTLD requirements or the TLDs in that sense.
India has recently submitted its request for seven
ID in seven languages. We have 22, so we somehow have
chosen seven at present and it has been accepted by
ICANN. They are in the process of confirming the
strings first and then we will go further to IDN.
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you very much.
I myself fit a little bit unfair to give only five
minutes to the billion population and 22 official
languages, so I gave three extra minutes plus.
Then we have another large country of China. Mr Mo,
are you ready?
Then we have additional speaker in the meantime,
while you are setting the projection. Mr Kim Dowon from
>>Mo Rungang: I do not have a presentation, so I don’t need
Thank you monitor Izumi and thanks Prof Tan for the
excellent speech and Dr Hong as well.
As everybody can see, IDN is very hot topic, it is
very diversified and China has the bigger IDN internet
users and we are about to see, as Chinese IDN become
I think it has a huge impact on internet, the way
internet grow, so I don’t have a presentation. I’m only
going to share some of thoughts of mine on how IDN has
change our lives.
I feel thankful for everyone here for being here
today and giving me this opportunity to talk about IDNs,
but I’m feeling a little sorry for myself, because it’s
my son’s birthday today and I’m supposed to be with him
Anyway, back to our topic of IDNs and particularly
Chinese IDNs. I want use example of Twitter. I believe
everybody in the room use Twitter more or less and for
those people who are familiar or use Chinese languages,
they will notice the difference of 140 characters. With
Chinese languages, you can pretty much say anything you
want to say with 140 characters. With that, my personal
experience with using English language is not possible.
So Chinese language is very rich, meaningful
language, it is a beautiful language, so is Chinese
As many people over here may already hear that China
has over 404 million internet users today. It’s growing
So if you can imagine for all those people who are
not able to use the internet because of the language
barrier, now it’s their time, their time has come.
If you imagine for millions and millions of Chinese
internet users getting on line by being able to use
Chinese IDN to access the internet, that’s going to
create a huge impact on the internet economy and a lot
of other things as well.
So I’m a very enthusiastic IDN promoter. I only
know IDN from fairly recently, but I think Chinese IDNs
has a great potential.
As many things has its good side as well as its bad
side and I think as everybody already see, IDNs becoming
a very hot topic and a lot of things presented by
Prof Xue and Prof Tan is actually reflected some hot
issues inch my conversation over here is pretty light,
so I don’t want to get into all that, but my personal
experience is some of my thoughts about Chinese IDNs and
how it is going to change our life is pretty mature, but
I still want to throw it out and share with you guys.
One thing I could think of, because of the IDN
Chinese IDN become available and it will create new
challenges for the policy and governance from the
regional and international perspective.
To make my speech short over here, I just briefly
mention another thought I have. It’s also premature.
It might sound a little crazy, but I still want to say,
like when the first plastic bag was invented, nobody had
thought of its going to become a huge problem for the
environment. Nowadays, everybody thinking living green,
saving energy, but with IDNs, we are going to have
millions and billions of new contents, because
availability of the new IDN.
So with the technology evolving, if we cannot catch
up quickly enough with rapid growth of IDNs, we might
facing a new problem of environmental problem.
But this is not directly connected to IDNs. I think
it’s more like internet related for us to think about.
That’s all I have for all of you. Again, thank you
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you, Mr Mo, for your very concise and
very interesting observation. Now I would like to give
the floor to Mr Kim Dowon for the Korean experience.
Then we move into the G space.
>>Izumi Aizu: In the meantime, I have a feeling that we may
run over. We started 20 minutes late, so we may end 15,
20 minutes later than scheduled before lunch, for your
While waiting, are there any people in the floor who
want to make comments or questions? Just tentatively,
could you raise your hands to see how many are there?
Only one? Later, we’ll see.
I encourage you to raise some comments, questions.
Don’t be bothered by the time constraints.
If there are only a few to raise hands, I would
invite or encourage or nominate some of the leadership
>>Dowon Kim: I’m Dowon Kim. It is .kr country code.
I would like to talk about IDNTLD development in
Everybody hungry, so I quick start and finish
In 2009, we made IDN internationalised domain names
advisory committee on January, but we need more meeting
to take opinions from the very different kinds of
society in Korea.
So we organise the KINNF, Korea Internet Names and
Numbers Forum in November.
But at the time, we should decide which character is
proper for IDNs, ccTLD in Korea, especially this
character in Korean.
So we made a survey and several public forums from
the December 2009 and February 2010.
In 2010, we decided Korean IDN ccTLD string is
So we applied for IDNCCTL, the fast-track in May.
Now we are waiting for ICANN’s approval.
We have some issues before introducing Korean IDN
ccTLD, like registration policy issue and circumstance
in Korean domain.
Many Korean people may think, what is different from
hangu.kr domain and .hangu domain IDN ccTLD.
We already use hangul.kr, but somebody complained.
I already have hangul.kr. But we spent more money to
have another domain, so this is unfair.
So we are discussing hangul.kr and .hangu IDN,
ccTLD, is same domain space or not.
We also discussing blocked and reserved names.
The most important thing is our internet usage
As you can see that half of Korean people use
internet explorer 6. As you know, Internet Explorer 6
cannot convert IDN to ASCII domain.
That means IE6 cannot recognise character other than
ASCII, so that is a serious problem with us.
This is final chapter.
So we should continue cooperate among the local
internet community and finalise the registration policy
discussion, like reserve and blocked names, sunrise
policy, registration fees, dispute resolution in KINNF,
Korea Internet Names and Numbers Forum.
We require government approval.
Also, we expect IE6Nomore campaign in the second
half of this year.
These processes are finished, then we will begin
Korean IDN ccTLD registration next year.
That’s all what I prepared.
Thank you very much.
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you, Mr Kim, for your very interesting
presentation about the .hangu. That means the
abbreviation of your country name.
>>Dowon Kim: Yes.
>>Izumi Aizu: As well as the characters too, or is it
>>Dowon Kim: We are Korean nation, that is a long one, that
is short one..
>>Izumi Aizu: Last but not least, from the G space, but
DotAsia is sort of pioneering the domain name with the
region name or geographic name on the one hand, and with
very interesting many initiatives as we may know.
Edmon, what is your view on IDN.
>>Edmon Chung: Thank you, Izumi.
You asked a question earlier about who is ready to
use IDNs, who is interested in registering IDNs.
That’s a very valid question, I think, and that is
a question I always asked my audience as well.
But I think another important value of IDNs is if
you ask the audience in Asia especially, what language
you use when you search on a search engine, that’s
a very important aspect of IDN, because beyond the
social values that I think tin wee and Xue Hong
mentioned, there is also economic and commercial values
and search engine optimisation is one of them and.
Because almost all searches in China, Japan, Korea,
in the Arabic region is actually using their own native
language, when people say that search engines will take
over domains, I take a different view, especially being
gTLDs, I guess, we take a very different view, because
IDNs will, in fact, become — IDNs would actually create
a much higher perceived value in Asia, once people
realise the importance of having domain names to support
search engine optimisation.
So that’s one important aspect that I would like to
The other is an interesting thing that I start to
recognise, is that there is a heightened respect for
intellectual property rights as domain names are being
perceived better and as IDNs are being introduced.
Because people, small, medium sized companies from
China, from India, suddenly realise that their name,
their brand name, is important and when people start
using their name, especially in IDN, they feel the pain
and that actually helps heighten the respect for
intellectual property rights in the region, I think.
These are some, I just want to start with some
important sort of IDNs in Asia.
Just illustrate a point, really SEO, the search
engine optimisation is important, I already went through
in saying that some of the parts, I mean, in Japan, in
Korea, in China, people most of the time use Chinese,
Japanese, Korean and their local language search and
this is going to make a different for IDNs.
Again, businesses, they use their own names and this
is why I think IDN is important and is also important
for gTLDs as well.
Going to update on DotAsia, we are planning the
launch of IDNs in DotAsia in the latter part of this
Going through to next year.
Like our ASCII DotAsia launch, we will be going
through a multi-phase process through the sunrise and
one of the interesting thing I think I was mentioned by
my colleague next to me from Korea is that there is
obviously a concern for I already have a DotAsia domain
that’s sort of reflects my identity. Now why do I want
an IDN as well? Why do I have to pay for an IDN as
So we are providing considerations in the opening
period for current English or ASCII DotAsia domain users
and also we are committing to grandfathering
registrations, especially for like Chinese.ASIA, into
Chinese.Chinese or native language.native language Asia.
In that particular language.
So these are some of the policies that are being
Another important consideration in our policy
development is that we are finding that IDN and ccTLDs
and gTLDs could be different, especially in the language
The reason being that take the example of Chinese
and Japanese as an example. In .JP, for example, it is
only expected that the domain itself is going to be in
Japanese. In China, for example, .cn, it is expected
that the Chinese is in Chinese. That the IDN is in
But the situation might be different.
When you register a Chinese character or canjy
domain in under.Asia, you are not sure where it is
supposed to be Chinese or Japanese.
The reason why it is significant is that in the
language policy for Chinese, simplified Chinese and
traditional Chinese are considered the same. If you use
the Chinese language table, then, say, the example
there, China.Asia in simplified Chinese and China.Asia
in traditional Chinese is considered the same. But if
you use the Japanese language table, they are considered
So what happens under .Asia, how do we implement,
how do we combine these two situations, especially when,
let’s say, China, these two characters, are being
registered under the Japanese language table.
This is some of the considerations that DotAsia is
going through for implementation of IDNs and gTLD area.
It is analogous also to Arabic, so Chinese is not the
only issue and Arabic also.
We are going through the process of implementing and
we also have the first showcase domain, which is Jacky
Chan’s latest movie, utilising a Chinese.Asia domain.
We are quite excited that it’s on buses and posters
everywhere. My last slide is just to say that every
DotAsia domain does contribute to internet development
in Asia, such as contributing to this forum, RIGF and
many other forums.
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you, Edmon.
With the little start up project Tin Wee you started
17 years ago or something, now we are seeing a lot of
Before opening the floor to the question, I just,
with privilege of moderator, would like to give one
question to all the panel members.
Let’s in 10 years from now, where we have majority
of IP addresses migrating to IPV6 hopefully, do you
think that your IDMTLDs in your CC space or DotAsia will
have majority than the ASCII or not? It still remains
as a minority space? Which one do you foresee? Let’s
say from Asia to Korea to India, Malaysia to China.
>>Izumi Aizu: Just say “yes” or “no”. Does it go to
majority or not?
>>Edmon Chung: Can I answer little bit longer?
>>Izumi Aizu: Yeah.
>>Edmon Chung: This question I answered 10 years ago, 12
years ago, in fact, is that I think the more important
aspect is that I think 10 years if now, people will find
that IDNs is nothing new and people will really think
that it’s just part of the internet. They will take it
for granted and not think it’s something other than
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you for your diplomatic answer. How
>>Dowon Kim: Korean people familiar with Korean character,
but major language probably ASCII, I think so.
>>Izumi Aizu: India with 22 language and 11 scripts.
>>Tulika Pandey: The answer is a strong yes.
>>Izumi Aizu: How about Malaysia? It is obvious question
>>Shariya Haniz Zulkifli: If I knew that, I would be rich
and happy and famous, but, no, I think Malaysia’s
position is a little bit unique, in the sense that I as
I mentioned we do use Roman alphabet, so I think it
might probably be ASCII.
>>Izumi Aizu: But you mention it is sort of the
intersection from Arabic and Chinese cultures.
>>Shariya Haniz Zulkifli: True.
>>Izumi Aizu: China, with 404 million users, in 10 years,
it could be a billion users.
>>Mo Rungang: I think this is a very difficult question.
If I’m a psychic, I will say Chinese, but honestly,
I think it has to do with a lot of other things, so it
is very hard to predict in 140 years, a lot of things
can happen. Not just internet itself, it has to do with
the governments and policies and as everybody knows,
a lot of things going on, so it’s really hard to say.
>>Izumi Aizu: Prof Xue, you also have the same?
>>Xue Hong: China has a population of 1.3 billion and now
there’s only 400 million on-line. So we have great
potential and as far as I know, the English penetration
in the whole population is less than 240 per cent. So
I assume in 10 years, if domain name is still relevant
technology and is mainstream application for internet
application, I assume the Chinese characters will be the
main domain name in Chinese Chinese market.
>>Izumi Aizu: I think there could be some youngsters like
Tin Wee 17 years ago, may come up with brilliant idea
for domain name to go out of business.
>>Tan Tin Wee: I’m sorry, I’m trying to do the psychic
thing as he mentioned, but I just cannot read Peter’s
mind, so maybe he would like to say something about
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you for your answer.
The floor is open. Any questions, comments for the
>>: I’m Blogie Robillo from the Philippines.
It’s rather unclear to me. Are the IDNTLDs specific
right now to ccTLDs or, I mean, is there someone or or
is ICANN going to decide that, OK, per country, there’s
going to be an IDN or is this like gTLDs where any group
that’s interested can create an IDNTLD and then, for
example, for me, I study Japanese, so I be interested in
a Japanese language IDN, but I would not be interested
in .nihon or .nihongo.
Then brand name domains also, if IDNs come out and
then our brand names are going to be protected or is
there going to be a grace period for, let’s say,
international brand name owner companies and who is
going to regulate that?
>>Izumi Aizu: For the first question, there is a general
process of introducing gTLDs with IDN as well. But as
Hong said, it is a fast-track for only the country code
top level domains are now in place, followed by the gTLD
place process later this year or next year, we would
like to see this introduction.
For any brand name thing, is there anybody who can
>>Edmon Chung: I think a couple of things. One, for the
new gTLDs, I think that’s an important consideration in
the whole process at ICANN as well, to protect some of
the trade mark owners in terms of trade names that they
For DotAsia, of course, when we first launched the
ASCII domain and as now, we plan the IDN launch, we will
have what we call the sunrise period, usually that’s the
industry term for it, to provide some priority
registration for brand owners.
>>: My name Issac Mo from China.
I just want to controversial to IDN, based on I’m
trying to ask those experts on international domain
names, you know, to what extent do you support IDN,
besides commercial values and maybe cultural social, you
know, values, of international domain names, for
example, back to about 10 years ago, there was a Chinese
company called 3721, who provide Chinese domain names
resolution by providing browser plug in for users, so
users can input Chinese domain names to support their
access internet browser usages.
But however, after about five years of collecting
money, processes, the company has been sold to Yahoo and
then disappeared now totally.
Right now, those Chinese domain name users, they
almost all get back to English domain names for
different international domains.
So I’m also questioning that because of the other,
you know, internet technologies developing themselves
like search engine technologies, so most of the
characters or maybe the identifiers can be searched out
from the search engines, like in Google chrome, you can
just input Chinese companies name, then back to their
domains, whatever it is.
So the success of this, what kind of values do you
think is beyond the redundancy of useability of end
users? What additional comments.
One of the Chinese engineering teams, they are
working on Chinese version of HTML language, but it’s
a joke, you know, they call themselves CHTML. Chinese
how to make love —
I just want to say that if you want to get back to
those cultural steps, how much extent we should try to
localise the internet technologies to me to language or
back to Java script or whatever.
So that’s the question to IDN experts.
>>Izumi Aizu: Thank you. I’m tempted to turn the
microphone to our father of the IDN, the professor of
>>Tan Tin Wee: I’m afraid no comments on the situation in
China. I think 34721, but just illustrates to you that
if you can’t have a language you are familiar with, you
go with the lowest hangs fruit and in this case, for
Chinese people, Arabic numerals is something which they
can easily remember, which accounts for the popularity
of 3721 back in those days.
But regarding whether you want to carry out
localisation or not, as I said, I’m unqualified now to
comment on that.
>>Mo Rungang: I want to comment on the questions you raised
and maybe it’s my lack of understanding. I think the
main part of the question of yours is the value you
probably have doubts about the value of Chinese domain
I think there is a misunderstanding about lot of
people have, doesn’t have a good understanding of the
Chinese domain names. I want to give you example to
see, to help you to see the value of Chinese domain
For a lot of Chinese people who doesn’t speak
English or use English in their daily life, it’s very
difficult for them to remember domain name. When
Chinese domain name become available, for example,
I remember slides of presentation from a colleague of
mine, for example, say Mercedes Benz has a website
called Mercedes Benz.com. If I ask you to spell it
correctly now, I think it would be difficult for you.
But if you put Mercedes in Chinese, it will be
remembered by everyone, so I hope you can see the value
of Chinese domain names by making example like that to
I think all your questions will be summarised.
That’s all I get from you, for that question. Maybe the
rest of the questions, you have, I think I am not able
to comments on those.
>>Edmon Chung: Just quickly, having been asked this
question for over 10 years, working on IDNs and working
at ICANN, there are two aspects. One, it is a matter of
world view. There is a world view where everything is
universalised into ASCII or one language. This one
world view. There is another world view where it is
multiculturalism, where it is a multi-dimensional. It’s
a diversity issue, having it itself is a statement
Doesn’t matter whether, having the capability itself
is a matter.
In terms of China, maybe Pinyin is quite popular,
but if we put ourselves into the arabic or indic world,
that might not be the same case.
The second aspect is that 3721, the biggest problem
there is that it’s not really standardised on the one
global root, one single global root and that goes on to
my other over 10 yearses commitment at ICANN, to try to
make this work, because we needed to work globally with
3721, it doesn’t resolve universally. At ICANN,
hopefully, it resolves universally and that will make
a difference, because people will be able to access
Chinese, Arabic, Russian domain names with a universal
situation and I think it will change. Those who jump
the gun in a way, sorry to use that phrase, but create
issues that we have to deal with and there is definitely
a loss of some confidence in the consumers mind, but
I think we’ll make that up in time.
>>Izumi Aizu: Any other comments, questions?
>>: I used to be in localisation industry for many years.
I just wonder, I just wonder, as domain name is part
of the universal resource low day for, did you see any
issues that have to be prevented or prepare something
that — because about of using this IDN, because, for
example, there’s an example of you have very similar
visual representations of domain names and that’s OK.
I think that will be OK, if it’s only, because visually,
very similar characters, when you turn into a bite, into
computer code, it is different. But once it got printed
on paper, on that poster, you cannot really
This happens many times in, say, for example, if you
go for book that have reference at the footnote or at
the end of the books, the value of URL, universal
resource locater will be affected by this idea an when
it got transferred into something that is not
>>Izumi Aizu: Any comment from the panel?
>>Edmon Chung: I didn’t quite get the gist of the question,
but I think when you have it on print, that’s really
a very important part of it, because that’s where the
value of IDNs come, because then it’s easier to
recognise for people who are reading that book.
I assume that you would put a Chinese URL on a Chinese
book rather than an Arabic URL on a Chinese book, so
given that, I think it’s easier to remember and after
reading the book, going to the computer, I can easily
type in the URL and get to the page.
I think the value is exemplified there, but I’m not
sure whether I’m answering the question correctly.
>>Atit Suriyakhun: When you go across the languages, because
in many time, when you go to put a reference on paper,
on books, many time it go across languages and I mean,
IDNs actually solve many language barriers, but at the
same time, will it create some other language barrier as
>>Edmon Chung: I get the question finally.
I think the the way I see it, it is a world view
problem. Today, if you quote a reference in Chinese
when you are writing in French, how do you quote it?
It’s the — I guess the same question. If it’s Chinese
domain name, then you have two choices. You can either
use what is called in technical terms the Puny code,
which is an ASCII representation of it or you can use
the native language which obviously is preferred, or you
can provide both for your readers.
So that’s sort of how I see it.
>>Shariya Haniz Zulkifli: Just a little bit to add to this.
This is something we raised within the Malaysian context
as well. Ultimately, it is a business decision, how you
want people to access your information, so if the
website is in Chinese, but you are reaching out to
perhaps an English speaking audience, I think you will
probably not put the Chinese IDN as a reference point.
You would probably register more than one.
So I think organisations and businesses have to make
this informed business decision on how to use IDNs and
make it relevant for the target audience that you’re
>>Izumi Aizu: So the ball is in the user’s side.
>>Shariya Haniz Zulkifli: I think so.
>>Blogie Robillo: Me again quickly. Has the issue of
character sets been addressed, in Japanese, for example,
we have several character sets, like UTF8 or shift JAS.
If not, then will that be addressed or will that be
a problem at all?
>>Izumi Aizu: For the Japanese, it is not really a problem.
We have some technical solution to accept different
codes. It’s built into the most popular browsers and
those other software.
Any others? If not, I would like to close with some
of my remarks before thanking everybody.
As predicted, the diversity or IDN in the diversity
context is very Asian and also, as Edmond said, it is
a matter of world view whether you like the world highly
complex, complicated or simple, but in reality is, the
world itself is fairly complex.
How to deal with that.
There are some solutions which may not cater
everything. But the more efficient. Others who might
not be efficient, but it satisfies the various needs of
the cultures and societies.
The IDN, as we hear from the origin to the
implementation to the 10 years from now, that it will
continue perhaps to be a very hard challenging topic.
In Japan, we are trying to introduce some multiple open
selection process for the registry and also how to deal
with the policy issues interesting and I learned
a little bit from each countries effort.
Perhaps combined, it will be a very good lesson for
each of you guys, because each society, cultures, have
different context and approaches that no one can
dominate or any unified solution.
We need to avoid fragmenttation with 1 billion users
in China, which may be majority of them are using only
Chinese language, we may have difficulty in
communicating with these people from Japan or from
elsewhere, but internet is the global tool as Prof Xue
Hong said, that we need some global legal framework or
if not, we need global monthly stakeholder forum, such
as IGF, for another 10 years.
I really appreciate all of your effort to make this
multi-stakeholder effort either be it think can context
of APRICOT or IGF or RIGF and we would like to see more
With that, I would like to thank everyone.
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