Due to the difficulties capturing a live speaker's words, it is possible this transcript may contain errors and mistranslations. APNIC accepts no liability for any event or action resulting from the transcripts.

Tuesday, August 25, 1400-1530

SRINIVAS CHENDI: Good afternoon. I'm from APNIC. Friends and colleagues, it's a great pleasure to welcome you all to APNIC here in Beijing. Thank you. Before we begin, on behalf of APNIC, I would like to thank all of the sponsors of this event who are listed here. So ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for the support for this event. APPLAUSE

Thank you. We now begin with Internet Governance issues for the Asia-Pacific. This session is divided into two parts. Part one discusses about Internet governance and the technical community and then part two for business on the internationalized domain names, IDNs. So, I would now like to thank Professor of law, for Internet policy and law, Beijing to chair the Internet governance and the technical community.

Dr Hong Xue: Thank you for coming to the conference and the discussion on Internet governance. We have many conferences meetings on Internet governance. What is the difference between these meetings and other meetings. One is that our meeting will be focusing on the role of technical community. The technical community of Internet governance, and the second feature is that our discussion will be with the key issues for Asia-Pacific region. So hopefully, these two features will distinguish our meeting from many other Internet Governance meetings. Today, we have a very distinguished panel. They're coming from around the world. From Geneva to Australia, from the Pacific Islands to Africa, and from the local host. We have totally five speakers. Three are present, and two are online. May I invite the speakers in the room to come here to join me. Philip, Adiel and Xiaodong, come here.

Thank you very much. Now, we move on to the first speaker, and that is the chief coordinator for the Secretariat of Internet Governance Forum, Mr Marcus Kummer. And he's now online. All right, you can see him right here. He's been waiting very patiently. Now, let us welcome Markus, now, please, you have the floor. Can you hear me?

MARKUS KUMMER: Good afternoon from Geneva. Thank you for the invitation. I hope you can hear me. Please let me know if I have to speak slow or if the sound doesn't work well. I am delighted to be, I would be delighted to be there with you in Beijing, but it wasn't possible, so I'll participate remotely, which is not quite as good as being there, but it is the good next best second. I have prepared a few slides, and I will operate them on the monitor and I assume that you can see them directly in your meeting room.

I will talk about Internet Governance in general and then it will be more in detail about the Internet governance forum. On the first slide, I recall that the Internet was an item of the international of the information associate which was held in Geneva in 2003. It was the recognition of the Ordinance of the Internet as a backbone of organization. In many ways, then we had a clash with the private sector and the community sector and the governance on the other. And it represented two different ways, two different ways of doing things, two different visions of the world. On the one hand, the bottom-up corporation of the Internet community, and on the other hand, the classical intergovernmental corporation as the international organizations.

Between the two phases of WSIS, we had a broad discussion on what we actually meant when we're talking about Internet Governance. The working group on Internet governance was set up and they prepared a report that fell into the second phase of WSIS and the weekly report to a large extent. And the governments adopted a very broad definition of Internet governance. And it was much more than just naming and addressing. They identified a broad range of policy issues ranging from cyber crime. And with the IGF and with also further with nationalization of government arrangements. The TUNIS agenda recommends existing arrangements, however, it also notes that there is room for improvements and decisions was two-pronged with the Secretary-General of the UN to come in with the stakeholder dialogue of the IGF and at the same time, it recognizes the need for the corporation to enable the governments to carry out errands and responsibilities.

This was a political agreement, a negotiated agreement and diplomatic process, and not everything is crystal clear, and there are also different implementations by different stakeholders of what was actually agreed on. The meaning of the corporation, for instance, is that for some, reforms within institutions. Whereas others would prefer a debate outside the existing institutions.

Another element which is not 100% clear is what is exactly the relationship between enhanced corporations and the IGF. But this is an involving environment, and the IGF at the beginning talked about the corporation in the last meeting. There was a discussion with the India IGF on the alliance corporation, so we can assume that this debate will evolve as we move along.

It's important to mention that WSIS recognized the role of the different stakeholders and it added the academic and the technical communities as a new stakeholder groups, and it emphasized the importance of the multi-stakeholder approach at all levels, national, regional, global and it recognized the role of the private sector in the civil society as a driver of innovation in the development of the Internet.

At the beginning, there was much confusion on what different roles the different stakeholders have, and it became clear in the process that while it is important that they all participate, they don't have exactly the same role. Governments are the decision makers and their decisions need to be based on the solid understanding of the issues, and for this, they need to have a dialogue between the private sector and the civil society and the technical governance. Governments show the concerns that they have to the people that can do something about it, and the stakeholders need to advise on the feasibility and the consequences of the solutions.

Now to the IGF - what is the IGF? I often say it is easier to define what it is not. It is not a classical conference. It is not a new organization. It is not a decision-making body. It has no defined membership. It has a provisional mandate of five years subject to review.

The IGF is based on what social scientists now call a soft governance approach. It has the power of recognition � that is that it can identify issues of concern and can draw attention to an issue, can put an issue on the agenda of a corporation. It can change public opinion and the decision making, but it has not the power of redistribution.

So far, we have had four... we have annual meetings of four days. Three so far. Athens 2007 and Hyderabad 2008. After Asia, we'll move to Africa in Egypt.

From Athens to Sharm El Sheikh. From Athens, we discussed world schemes, security and openness. We had two cross-cutting priorities � development and capacity building. In Rio De Janeiro, we added a theme, critical resources; and in Hyderabad, we looked at security and openness as it is impossible to discuss one without the other, and in Sharm El Sheikh, we looked at some issues after the other. In other issues, it's a question of how to address the questions. Whereas, in other integral issues, it's a question of sharing opinions and listening to each other � mainly with an understanding of where the other side comes from.

The Sharm El Sheikh agenda has the overall theme of Internet governance creating opportunities for all. And the various agenda items � managing critical agenda resources, security, access and diversity. Internet governance in light of WSIS and taking stock in the way forward, and lastly, emerging issues so we talk about the impact of social networks.

the development was always an important priority, and we will devote a session to the WSIS principles and look at the Internet governance in the WSIS and context, and we look at how to divide issues. There are also two aspects related to Internet governance. On the one hand, the effective and meaningful participation of Internet governance arrangements of the developing countries, and on the other hand, the building of capacity to address Internet governance issues.

An important aspect in recent months has been emerging interest in creating national and regional Internet Governance Forums or an Internet Governance Forum-like initiative. We had one in the LACNIC region in Rio last year. And this month in the Caribbean IGF, where there is a meeting there this week. The East Africa IGF, two meetings in Nairobi in 2008, and next month, and also, a first meeting in West Africa in October.

In Europe, we have dialogue on Internet Governance and the next meeting is September and also the Commonwealth IGF. The UK IGF and an IGF in Italy, and think there is also one in Spain. Sharm El Sheikh will provide the opportunity to bring in regional perspectives. National and regional perspectives are important. National and regional policies are important for policy coherence. Much of the discussions we had in the summit were held with international factors. However, the national policies are those that shape the Internet at the local level, and the enabling environment is a key factor to allow for the Government deployment of the Internet. Therefore, there is a need for shaping similar policies at all levels, national, regional and international.

International co-ordination needs to build on co-ordination at the national and regional levels, otherwise it will not work.

The IGF mandate, as I mentioned, is a provisional mandate of five years, subject to review. It requests the Secretary-General to hold formal consultations with IGF participants under the continuation of the forum, and these consultations will take place at the meeting in Sharm-el-Sheikh. Based on that, the Secretary-General made recommendations to the UN membership, and a decision will be made by the general assembly of the United Nations on whether or not to extend the IGF mandate, and that decision will be taken in December 2010.

In the review process, we have posted questionnaires on the website and we have received many responses. We ask for all the questions in the IGF mandate, did the IGF have any impact? Was the IGF useful? Did the IGF foster the dialogue? Etc. And in this process, it is clear that different people have different opinions, different views on the strengths and weaknesses. Some think the lack of decision-making is a weakness, and they would like the IGF to produce concrete results. Others, however, see this lack of decision-making power not as a weakness, but as a strength. They say that this creates a lack of pressure to reach decisions and create space that allows for open dialogue, which will otherwise not exist.

But when judging the IGF, the IGF should not be judged on what it was meant to do and what it was not meant to do. That was to look at the decision making process. It has to be charged on what it can offer. It is a platform that promotes co-operation involving all stakeholders. It allows for interaction with people and institutions that participants would not meet otherwise. And lastly, it deals with issues that are outside the remit of technical organizations and issues that are cost-cutting and have various aspects that can not be dealt with, with one single organization. And based on the reactions we had, participants so far have found it useful to come to the IGF, and we are also very pleased to see that we have a strong interest from China, participants host workshops and we hope to see many of you who are there at that meeting also in Sharm El Sheikh.

And I would like to conclude my remarks and I thank you very much for your attention. Thank you.


DR HONG XUE: Thank you so much, Markus. This is a wonderful presentation. It is very informative and insightful with the wonderful briefing of Internet Governance and IGF. I believe we should immediately open the floor so that you don't have to wait here for the full 90 minutes. I know it's very early morning for you and we're very grateful that you're kindly joining us. So, any comments from the panels? Markus, on his presentation? Can I see any questions from the floor? You can see two microphones there and there? Any questions? On Internet governance? The scope? The practices? And IGF?

Well, OK, Marcus. I guess the Asian colleagues are very shy, but I do have a question for you. I'm very impressed by your presentation, especially you mentioned that Internet Governance emphasized the principle of multi-stakeholder and we do notice that IGF emphasized the value of enhanced co-operation of different stakeholders. They use a very important principles, and the practices. My comments, and also question is � we can see the technical community is one of the very important stakeholders in Internet Governance. Of course, you defined that as one of the new stakeholders that IGF has. To our understanding, Internet begins from technology. It begins from computer encoding.

Before anything else, before any policies, there were only codes, and the codes are actually laws, so it seems technical community is a very, very important stakeholder. The infrastructure, as it is built is actually defining our governance structure and at present, I wonder, what is your comment on this, and what is your basic assessment of the participation of the technical community at IGF in the past four years? Back to you, Markus.

MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, thank you for your comments. I totally agree on what you were saying and your assessment of the importance of the technical community. And I think this is also one of the important steps in the WSIS history, the recognition of the Internet community. And to begin with, admittedly there were not, they were not particularly keen on having yet another meeting. They have many meetings already, and my feeling was the first meeting in Athens, the involvement of the technical community was maybe more one of "Let's go and see" and make sure that nothing goes wrong. But gradually, over time, I felt that very much, they now embrace the concept of the IGF, and welcome the opportunity to interact with other stakeholders. The technical community are absolutely essential.

They are the people who can provide solutions. They are the people with the new applications. But, they also realize that they need to engage in a dialogue with policy-makers and they also need to engage in dialogue with everyday users to support and to learn what users want. The IGF is precisely this kind of place. I think one of the general conclusions of the IGF is that nobody can do it alone. They all need to work with one another. And I think, I'm very encouraged at the way the technical community after Athens embraced the IGF concept with their strong involvement and support. And these were very much in agreement.

DR HONG XUE: Thank you very much, Markus for the presentation and for the answer. You're welcome to stay with us. Now we move on to the second speaker. Mr Philip Smith. He's the member of the board of ISOC. Philip is an outstanding representative of technical communities. He's been working with Cisco for many years and one of the Internet technology engineers and the pioneers. So Philip, you have the floor.

PHILIP SMITH: OK, good afternoon everybody. Sorry about the changeover hassle. I think I caught APNIC off guard with wanting to use my own laptop. Just to be clear, I've given this presentation on behalf of ISOC, and I'm a new member of ISOC and the agenda says that I'm actually ISOC. I'm actually not, I'm on the Board of Trustees, just to be clear of that. Now I agreed to do this on their behalf. So it's really looking at, I suppose ISOC's involvement in Internet Governance as such over the years and moving forward, so I just want to take a little look through some of that for you. A little bit of history first, ISOC was founded in 1992 by Internet pioneers. I think a lot of the Internet was recognized around the early '90s, and ISOC was funded back then.

Today, it is an international non-profit organization with over 90 organizational members, 28,000 individual members. There are over 90 chapters worldwide, as well as regional bureaus in Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, South and south-east Asia with others coming. ISOC is very much an international cause-related organization that's working for the open development and evolution of the Internet for all people. ISOC works through areas of technical standards, education and capacity-building, as well as public policy.

So, what does it have to offer? Long standing global organization, basically it's dedicated to the health of the Internet. And the Internet Society works a lot with partners and members. There are ISOC chapters in many countries and cities, even participating in this conference today, and I would actually like to encourage everybody who is not already participating to consider joining ISOC and get involved. It is actually a complex system and it is still evolving rapidly, and it is really important to remember that. It is not just that the Internet was connected and we're suddenly all connected and using it. You and me and all of us are part of the Internet and we participate in it. Even though the Internet is playing a really important role in the lives of a large proportion of the world's citizens, it still does need to grow.

There are still many parts of the world where the Internet is still in its infancy, so it would be a mistake to try to slow the development by having restrictions this early on. The Internet presents challenges to traditional governments playing in mechanisms. For starters, the Internet is a global entity and therefore crosses jurisdictions. So it has to be a co-operative approach to it. One jurisdiction issue does not apply to other jurisdictions. There's no shared model of what is acceptable and what isn't, in all of the exceptions. There are countries and people from many national, cultural and different issues. Everyone needs to learn to work together cooperatively, both to perform the desirable effects of the Internet and of course to mitigate the bad effects that we see as well.

So, not a lot is new, but the challenges can appear to be new. Newcomers say "oh, how do we deal with particular issues that many countries and people have already faced elsewhere?" So it is actually important to think about some of this when we're talking about governance. Now, the Internet's success is largely due to its unique model. There's the shared global ownership. There's no central control with anything to do with the Internet. There's collaborative engagement models, so to involve researchers, civil society, academia and governments.

Development of Internet technologies is based on open samples which are openly developed with participation based on knowledge, rather than formal membership. The key principles, such as the end to end principle, which is important for the network, and is bottom-up, freely accessible, public, multi-stakeholder processes for both technology and policy development.

This is going to be too hard to actually see on the screen, unfortunately, but the graph actually shows that the ecosystem organizations that are working together to ensure the health of the Internet. There's some Internet governmental organizations like the ITU. The governments play a role, but many organizations are non-governmental and many are commercial. But the point is, the point is that it really tries to make is that all of them depend on the work of others to make the Internet a success. So, if we look at Internet governance, the topical Internet governance came in around 2003 with the preparations for the world summit of the Information Society. So it was actually quite a difficult subject for the UN conference to address, because the stakeholders were not that accustomed to how each other worked.

Governments and the UN itself aren't well really used to dealing with processes like the ecosystem, and a lot of organizations worked together to work openly to make up the Internet. That was quite a challenge for the governments. Now, on the other hand, the Internet organizations wanted to deal with rules and the formality of UN organizations. I mean, we're all accustomed to a relaxed way of working with each other, which you don't see with the government organization. So it is actually quite an interesting learning experience for everybody concerned. But fortunately, all sides were actually willing to make the process work, and the multi-stakeholder participation and WSIS was then really set a bench mark for the utilities for other UN conferences and other organizations.

So one of the first challenges of WSIS was to define what was meant by Internet governance. What they came up with is what is on the screen here. The Internet Governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society in their respective roles of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedure and programs that shape the evolution of the use of the Internet. So it is important to highlight the effective Internet governance needs to be multi-stakeholder.

Now, just to mention the follow-up to the WSIS. The area of Internet governance, the main mechanism for that is the Internet Governance Forum which Markus Kummer was already talking about. I'm not going to go over some of his discussion, but I do want to underline some of the important characteriztics. So the three main points which I put on the screen here, and the first is that the IGF is the place for discussion among stakeholders without formal negotiation or procedures. It helps people to talk to each other, rather than standing up and quoting formal position statements to each other. I'm relating to this because IGF is informal and encourages frank discussion and the open exchange of views so there can be instances where people do not agree, but they learn about other points of views and the differences.

And then, the capacity building and development is important. They believe that it is for everybody, and it is important for people from all parts of the world to have the capacity to engage in Internet governance and to be effective, that means that you have to have knowledge and skills to bring to the table.

Now, why is the IGF important? It's all about governments and traditional organizations working, well, they work in different ways. But it is about encouraging them so they can find ways of working with each other and working together. And it is actually important for all of us that everyone has access to a healthy Internet. And IGF is an important component of a healthy Internet as well, because it brings together people who would not ordinarily meet each other and talk about their shared interests and their common concerns.

Now, and the Internet communities and IGF. Well, ISOC has supported IGF and the predecessors since the inception, particularly ICANN. The position of the Internet community has been considerable, thoughtful and greatly appreciated and the value of the open multi-stakeholder value for open matters, it gives a good platform for communicating messages to other communities in particular to governments. So the IGF continues to evolve and holds a vital venue for Internet governance issues without really detracting from other parts of the model.

Now, the IGF is not the only Internet governance activity in the United Nations system. Here are some other examples on the slide. The ITU has shown a lot of interest in Internet policy. ISOC, AfriNIC are associate members of the ITU. ISOC is involved in the work because ISOC thinks it is important to be able to bring our expertise to them. ISOC is involved in issues like multiculturalism, and ISOC is community indicating with the under secretary of the United Nations to bring all of the Governmental and non-governments. ISOC, and then our own have been working particularly with the ITU on the issue of v4 and v6 transition, and ISOC has devoted much effort to expanding the understanding of technical issues and providing ice on the technical issue and looking at how the IP address allocation works.

It can be quite difficult work, but it is vitally important that organizations like the ITU have a clear factual basis for the work. The health of the Internet can not be decided on the basis of political discussions alone.

But, the OECD decided to seek input from technical organizations and approached several to take part on an equal footing. ISOC was approaching a group of 17 organizations through conference calls. ISOC played an active role in the preparation of the OECD ministerial conference in 2008. Most importantly, ISOC offered advice on the work of the v6 transition. It was fairly clear technical advice and it made a big difference to that paper which is now widely referred to among governments. ISOC provided similar advice on many other topics. Also offered policy advice to ministers holding a one-day forum that was organized onsite in Korea in the OECD ministerial. And that opened the expansion for the way the governments work with the technical community that went way beyond WSIS and IGF itself.

And it set a new standard. ISOC is very pleased to be able to participate in this. And as a result of all of that, the head of the OECD suggested that ISOC's participation should become a permanent feature of their work.

Since the ministerial conference in 2008, the OECD has improved their involvement with them, and ISOC is now working with Government del delegates, with organizations to bring their expertise to the table. One example of ISOC's participation has been the ongoing work in IP addresses and in the transition from v4 to v6, specifically. ISOC has been providing invaluable advice based on the experience with allocations and this has helped to move the OECD work more quickly than it could have done otherwise. And also, ISOC has been offering help with the Toolkit and highlighted the importance of the Internet, and the Internet model for innovation in today's economy. And we've seen some of these inputs being reflected in the OECD output.

Obviously, not every country is a member of the OECD, but even those who are a relatively small one, it is reaching out to many countries including China and India to be there. And the point of view of the organizations working with the OECD provides an invaluable opportunity to guarantee the health of the Internet. We encourage all governments to do this, but more importantly, perhaps we invite governments to come and participate in our individual work as part of the Internet WSIS.

Some of the key messages from the presentation, where we believe the Internet Government is very important. ISOC believes that the Internet must be for everyone, and so should discussion about governance issues. The Internet technical community and the private build Internet, they believe very strongly in it, and we're reaching out for others who are working together to protect and defend an environment where the Internet truly is for everyone. That's my presentation.


DR HONG XUE: Thank you for the very insightful and interesting presentation where ISOC is involved in the presentation and many projects. Any comments from the panellists on the ISOC activity? From the audience? Any questions or comments? They're welcome.

OK, just for your information, ISOC is actually involving many local chapters Of organizations and we're happy to see many local chapters Have applied to ICANN with the large structures and user groups. Now, we can see out of more than one hundred, 35 structures. More than one third are actually ISOC chapters. Even the chair of the committee of ICANN is from ISOC Australia.


DR HONG XUE: So, ISOC is important. Another comment is that we are glad to see ISOC is not only providing advice to the OECD rich countries, but also is engaging the countries in Africa and Asia in working with APEC and the other government organizations. I wonder if there are any recent projects working to help to help make the Internet to have everyone's opportunity. Are you aware of this?

PHILIP SMITH: I'm probably the wrong person to ask! But I'm certainly aware from the Internet technical community side about the Africa bureau and activities. That's one example. And I'm sure there's a lot of others.

DR HONG XUE: OK, thank you very much.

Our next speaker is Dr Xiaodong Lee. Xiaodong in his young age achieved many things and is from CNNIC, our local host and also is the project working group leader in IETF. He's the technical contact of ICANN and IANA, and the technical tsar for .CN, and he's going to tell us the technical community's role in Chinese Internet governance.

XIAODONG LEE: OK, I'm not an expert in Internet governance, I'm just here to share some experience of myself. If you are not a technical guy, or you do not have interest in the IETF, then I think, the IETF is the Internet Engineering Task Force, but I see it as the Internet revolution. I think that from my point of view, it looks at the development and evolution and so I'm just sharing some points of view with you all.

You know that currently, there are some organizations in the world who are very active in the Internet. Of course, including IETF and also the WSIS activity, but for IETF, after more than five RFCs were published in IETF, most of them are adopted by the Internet community, and that's why it looks at the Internet communities.

More than 90% of Internet standards are created by IETF. I think everyone who logs into the Internet with the various IP and HTTP and SMPTP and other famous Internet products and look at the IETF. I think that when they look that you know, the company are there. But if you want to use some application of the Internet companies, you can use so many of those, including DNS, and IP e-mail. The FTP of e-mail, everybody uses this protocol everyday. The protocol is there, but you know, Skype uses IP, and that's why I tell you that the IETF leads the Internet for more than 20 years.

Now, the IETF in the last IETF meeting in July in Sweden, 75 at that meeting. Around 1,000 people joined this meeting. But some years ago, more than 2,500 joined the IETF meeting, but now, about 100 to, 1,000, but now 1,200.

I want to show you some colours with IETF. If you join the IETF meeting, you will find so many dots. Red dot, yellow dot, blue dot. I think that you can see that. The red dot there. And I'm very happy to invite the joining of the meeting.

But, the dot, the IESG member, very, very experienced expertise, and then the many blue dots with the working group chair and there is a very dynamic group. And also, the other colourful dots there. It's very interesting that maybe you can find a person has a red dot, yellow dot, maybe a blue dot. So many dots there and that means that they're very active in the IETF.

I think that IETF is very different from other organizations, especially it is very different from ITU, because IETF is, there are no confidential contributions. All of the documents, all of the meeting minutes are published for public review. And anyone can submit the document or contribution from the IETF, and all of the documents can be published. Of course, not all of the drafts can be published as RFC, but even maybe some major drafts can.

As I mentioned in an earlier slide, that over 5,000 RFCs were published, but not all of the RFCs were there standard there are many categories, some that are informational or experimental or best current practice. Even the drafts on RFCs, even the Internet standard is standard for IETF. There are less than 100, maybe wrong, maybe less than 100. Maybe you can correct me.

IETF has many relationships with other organizations. ISOC, we have here and ISOC makes more contributions to IETF. Of course, ISOC supports IETF activities. This picture shows you the architecture of the IETF. And I will not give more explanation on the picture. If you have interest, you can visit the IETF website.

I think that the working group is very important for IETF, because there are so many drafts of standard processes for the working group, that each area that is there maybe 110 working groups in the IETF. Trying to get a provision for some working groups with http or e-mail. Maybe you can see the working group for the applications for other working groups. But most importantly, I want to tell you, and this is with the Internet governance that the culture of IETF is openness. That you know, so many organizations are based on member fees, but in IETF, if you want to join IETF, there is no member fee. That anyone, any individual can join IETF activities. I think that so many people ask me - how can I join IETF activities?

I will tell him or tell her that if you have a computer, that is connecting to the Internet, you can join the IETF. So you can join the mailing list and follow the discussion and then give your contributions to the IETF. And another very important is the WG principles. "We reject Kings, presidents and voting. We believe in rough consensus and running code." So, in so many organizations, it if a draft is published up there, all of us can agree on a solution, but in IETF, it is not. But, so, it is not easy to explain the drafts. Maybe 6% or 7%, or 60% or 70%, there's no accurate percentage. Often in IETF we show the positive position of the draft. So, what is humm? If you close your mouth and try to make a noise through your mouth, it's a hum.

So the chair will say that if your position is positive, you're a hum. If it is negative, you are humm too.

Also, I think for those who want to join IETF activities and so many ask. But a big concern of IETF is running code. Maybe if you are a student from a university or you have activities, you can see the IETF. The running code is definitely necessary by IETF and the interoperability is much more important than the problem solution. Saying, here is the problem, and I have a solution. The solution is OK, but the standard, the Internet standard, the big concern of that is the interoperability.

So many people look at the working group to have their own draft or suggestion to be an IETF standard, but if you have a procedure, and BoF means Birds of a Feather flying together in the working group, and if you look at the working group, the member of IESG will approve that and in the next meeting there is a working group and so many working documents.

If you have a suggestion of Internet standards, you can submit to the IETF and submit to the working group. But mostly, the people submit drafts to the working group.

Before the IETF published drafts to be RFC, with the last call in working group and last call in IETF with the IESG and then publish the RFC. I think in many documents, the version there, in the document, after we have the RFCs for the three and five years past.

So, only two slides for my experience of IETF. I joined IETF activities since 2000, and my contribution is not many RFCs but the IETF has so many contributes to over 20 RFCs with IETF. And now, under the IETF working group and the international addresses with the working group.

And now we're working for so many. Now we have five RFCs which are published and six working group drafts, and also, we have two working group drafts explained.

The working groups, the members of the working group also have some tests for the working groups.

So, the e-mail addresses are there. That is to show you the different kinds of language and different culture. I can not, I can not pronounce them. Maybe only one, which is Chinese. And in the near future, you can use these e-mail addresses and view it.

I have some suggestions for the IETF. I think that you can join the IETF meeting, mailing list. If you can not afford the very expensive travel costs here for Asian peoples, you can join the mailing list and join the discussion and help to create the draft and documents. If you have questions, so you are free to ask the experts and you can also ask the chairs and have many discussions because otherwise, then we can see what kind of contribution there is in IETF. Maybe next time, you can have some suggestions and solutions to IETF based on Internet Drafts. I think everyone can join the, everyone can connect to IETF and everyone can connect to the Internet. OK, thank you.


DR HONG XUE: Thank you very much.

DR HONG XUE: What could happen? Arguing with each other. We don't have wrong consensus, we only have complications. A couple of Internet pioneers, I wonder if anyone can say anything?

JOHN KLENSIN: First, I need to find the microphone. The presentation was excellent. It shows how easily I can track what's going on and see how things change. There are new working groups that are not on the slides yet. The number of Internet standards is 68. So during the presentation, it is a very unique and a very interesting, almost unique organization. Individuals represent themselves. We view lawyers and journalists with a certain amount of suspicion.

DR HONG XUE: Fred Christopher was supposed to be the next speaker but he can't be contacted over the Internet. I'm sorry we cannot have the speaker with us. So our last speaker will be Mr Adiel Akplogan. He is the CEO of AfriNIC. He has more than 15 years of Internet technology. He's been involved in a couple of African Internet organizations such as AFTLD.

ADIEL AKPLOGAN: OK, thank you. I'll quickly go through Internet governance in the African region. How it has evolved and what are the issues frequently raised? And how are we seeing the future?

Internet governance in Africa has a very specific backdrop. First of all, it is the way governance is done. It's a new concept in our region because it's placed on where you bring together people from different profiles. And different stakeholders together to discuss governance issues. And technical governance issues, which is something new in our region. And if we put that together with the Internet history in the region, where at the beginning of the Internet, very few governments have taken the right involvement in the local and deployment of the Internet in the region. This is mainly because it was seen in the beginning as a competition. And because Internet emerged from a non-conventional way of technology.

The main stakeholders in the region were involved in this. And for some, there were some cases about loss of control or communication in general. So the governance concepts have been something very new and difficult to approach the stakeholders in our region.

With the WSIS, the stakeholders have been able to discuss those different concerns. And they have tried to understand the real meaning behind Internet governance in the region and also share their view on that.

The WSIS process has become clear that the capacity building is critical for further discussions and better contribution from developing countries, and to mainly allow the countries to contribute better, to be able to come up with solutions to meet the expectation.

And I think that was one of the original ideas of the IGF as a forum, where new Internet governance in general can listen and hear what is going on around and understanding the concepts.

Now three IGFs later, what can we say about the region? What we said before? I think that capacity-building has been and allowed the community in general to raise the understanding of the statistical approach in addressing and trying to solve different issues. And to also understand the complexity involved in many technical aspects of the Internet. To understand the governance itself. When we talk about industry, self-regulated industry, and etc - the IETF allowed this. It's allowed people also to understand what is happening within different stakeholders, and government, and in terms of addressing a few important issues like security, for instance, etc...

In addition to the capacity-building, the idea for the WSIS process in general have allowed people to understand or to confirm that the Internet has become a critical element. If you want to play, you have to be up to speed.

It was also clear that the Internet is a tool that is local for global impact. It means you can't play on the global Internet if globally you don't have the appropriate infrastructure. This has led many companies to understand that we need a local infrastructure and build a real local Internet. And a real network for local traffic exchange, so to improve the participation to the global Internet.

One critical point we have noticed in the region is the multi-stakeholder approach. The multi-stakeholder aspect was something new in the beginning but more and more we are seeing many countries try to create an environment where they can bring in different stakeholders and different players together to address and discuss issues that are involved. And bring the outcome to the voices of government, decision-makers.

But there are some reality though � I've been asking this question to several representatives from different stakeholders. To know if they are still very interested in the IETF. And, surprisingly, the result is always low. That government and sub-stakeholders are interested in attending or spending time at the IETF. But, why? One of the main reasons is that for many of them it's not possible to travel and spend money to attend the meeting where they have to just discuss issues. They prefer a decision at the meeting where they can find solutions for issues they are having daily and they can be involved in somehow solutions. So for them, spending and discussing in only discussion is not great. Many of them have real issues. They want solutions for this.

And they want the solutions to be clear, instead of trying themselves to get the solution from discussions from best practice, etc.

But it's hard to narrow this down. AfriNIC is an RIR and the IGF does allow the NRO, which can also increase its awareness and cooperation with non-conventional stakeholders. When I talk about non-conventional stakeholders, all the stakeholders that are not the technical community through different industry. Like workshop, round table and contribution to IGF agenda, where the NRO has participated before in several workshops. This is to increase awareness and capacity build. It's something very positive. It's allowed them to have an increasing awareness of this. And in many cases they are involved. Besides that, the NRO has engaged in advanced dialogue with other organizations that have a strong interest in Number Resource Management, such as ITU and OECD. And we try to understand their concern, and try to guide them through processes which exist. And how those issues can be addressed using these processes, the WSIS processes. Giving them more information about the background, etc. And we have also recently when in technical areas of the OECD to bring more information to OECD member on issues of Internet. And Internet governance in general. I think the IGF and the global discussion related to Internet governance has allowed the NRO and the RIR in general to title their corporation with confidence of policy-makers.

In particular, in the African region, you know Africa is hosting the fourth IGF meeting this year in Egypt. And for many people on the continent, this is an opportunity for them to take maximum advantage from the IGF. For them, probably to try to raise some issues which are very critical and important for them. In order to prepare that, several regional initiatives are being taken. And AfriNIC is trying to organize this and also in Ghana there is a meeting.

One thing with those regional IGFs and that even if the topic discussed are not quite the same as the global IGF, they reflect the need of those regions in terms of Internet governance. But taking the multi-stakeholder approach. Meaning they bring together different people from different areas. Our own specific issue for us regionally.

And in East Africa, this session is focused on access. How to improve it and how to better use the new fibre cable in the East Africa region. And this is a real serious issue for this region.

And in West Africa, the tendency is to talk about framework. And the possibility to also improve access in the region.

So, even though the perception is that people are not interested in global IGF, but the stats are showing that locally they have to do something in order to improve the connectivity and their use of the Internet to be more efficient in the global way. There is no doubt, it is often said that the IGF is the best model that could offer an open and smooth environment for stakeholders to discuss and share views on issue-related to Internet. Internet governance and their overall approach to it, is a clear demonstration that despite the apparent lack of interest. Despite the fact that it seems like there is no interest from the IGF, the mindsets are changing. And the seriousness of the fact that local IG is critical for the Internet development itself. In each region there is no serious approach to the way Internet is governed. Taking in to consideration the environment itself can be quite difficult an environment. And it can bring Africa in to play in the local Internet. Thank you.

DR HONG XUE: Thank you, Adiel, for the very thoughtful presentation. This was very impressive. He raises a very important question. If you ask the African stakeholder that you're interested in IGF, the answer is no. Actually, Africa and Asia Internet communities have a lot of common interests. We should also ask this question to us � why do we travel all the way to those remote places to participate IGF? For instance, in Rio de Janeiro, and it can take more than 40 hours to get there. Do we believe we should try to find a solution by yourselves, rather than through a globalised forum? Or would it be more effective to discuss Internet governance issues through localised forums, as Adiel just raised? It's a very thoughtful point for us to think about, especially in the Asia Pacific. It has the largest Internet population and it's the most quickly developing Internet region.

What is our stake in the governance region? Any comments from the panel on this issue? From the floor? We have a really peaceful and harmonious meeting. Very different to ICANN ones. We have sufficient food for thought. There's a question. Sorry.

ROB BLOKSIJL: I'm the chairman of RIPE. If you look at it from a very high level, this Internet governance issue is two worlds coming together. In a simplified matter, the governments are on one side and the Internet community, more specific and more technical oriented part of this community. The Internet has a long tradition of governance models. It starts at the lowest level and I think the presentation on the IETF is a very good example of it. Governments on the other hand are organizing a top-down area of this. The Internet Governance Forum and permanent clash of cultures. There is one group of participants who grew up in this automatic bottom-up situation and it's the other group of governments or organizations that grew up in the top-down. And I think there's something we should keep in mind, trying to understand some of the issues raised here.

And maybe it's not too bad to try, as you mentioned, the specific region has its own issues which are different from Europe, my part of the world, so maybe you should first try to reach governance consensus in your local environment, either Asia Pacific-wide or Europe-wide. And then try from time to time to see whether it's worth while to have a global effort there but I think it's very difficult to take a single country like China.

For the Chinese Internet community, technical and user community to travel to Rio de Janeiro to try together with governance people on a global international scale, I think it's a fairly difficult issue. Maybe we should invest on both sides. Inside China some regular dialogue does not exist.

As I said, I don't have the answer. But elaborating on your question, which I think is extremely interesting.

DR HONG XUE: Some very insightful comments. No single stakeholder group can work out any solution. So whatever culture or tradition the stakeholder has, they've had to work with other stakeholders. So we need cooperation and it's another thing of Internet governance. Any other comments?

ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you. I think Rod raised a real issue. Between the top-down and bottom-up process and government forums sometimes can't provide solution. But, again, it's very important to see how the Internet Governance Forum is making even government to understand that at some level the multi-stakeholder approach, based on the bottom-up approach can first help in bringing different ideas together to find solutions for issues and it doesn't always work, especially when it's relevant to the Internet. It's based on the bottom-up and it is very hard to change the way it works.

Maybe it's not clearly perceived the Internet today, but for me it's a long process that will take down for people to understand how we can take more initiative from this bottom-up and participant approach. We've seen it happen rather slowly, but at some level we're taking issues back to their country, back to their region, and trying to understand them.

DR HONG XUE: Thank you very much, Adiel, for your comments. The global forum and discussion of governance issues, so IGF is a global platform. But IGF is being discussed and we will. It's being discussed by stakeholders. But it's a critical issue. This is one of the critical issues for our region. Any other comments? Oh, yes. Please.

DR SURESWARAN: Hi, I'm from Malaysia. The comments about top-down approach and comments about the bottom-up approach. Given actually views on both of this middle ground approach seem to be sometimes missing, because a lot of people have strong suggestions from the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach. This is something we find missing. The ability for groups to get together and openly discuss what is the philosophy? What are we trying to move the Internet to? What are we transforming the Internet to? So along these lines, I think what needs to be done is a lot more open discussion, rather than say, "This is the way it should be." People can start thinking again, "How can we do this and how can we do it correctly?"

The comment about having to go to Rio de Janeiro and just interestingly, I had to fly from Malaysia to China for a members' meeting too and thinking allowed from what you just mentioned, even further to country levels it can be hard. But, again, is that what we want to do? Is that how we want to do it? It needs to be thought about and thought about with an open mind. Thank you.

DR HONG XUE: Thank you. We are deeply thinking about this. And we are exactly doing the open discussion right here, right now. Any other comments, questions? Thank you so much for your participation. This is end of session one. Welcome to session two and will begin in 25 minutes.

SRINIVAS CHENDI: Thank you very much, everyone. We will take a break for afternoon tea and we will come back to the room at 4pm shortly to start the next session. Thank you very much. We found a S Samsung with a sticker and if anyone wants to claim it, talk to me.

Tuesday, August 25, 1600-1730

SRINIVAS CHENDI: Welcome part to part two of Internet governance. This is for the IDNs, the international domain names and the session is chaired by Jian Zhang from CNNIC.

JIAN ZHANG: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome back to the second half session of Internet governance. As the first part of the session, we discuss the general topics on Internet governance, and in the second part of the session, we're going to be focusing on a special topic, internationalized domain names, IDN. IDNs is not something new in this community, but it becomes a hot topic again since ICANN decided to open IDN CCTLD and that was in 2008, which means after years of discussion, finally we're going to be able to use it in real time. The region is known for its cultural and linguistic area with hundreds of languages used. APNIC has provided great importance to IDNs and the policy development process.

First of all, I would like to invite the first speaker, John Klensin to make his presentation. Dr John Klensin is author of many IETF drafts and looks at IDNs. And the Professor is going to share with us the latest update on IDN work at IETF. Welcome.

JOHN KLENSIN: Good afternoon I am and very pleased to be back to Beijing. I was asked in the hall if I'm looking forward to the day when I will not have to do the talk on IDNs because all of the smoke will be finished. The answer is yes! But, we are at a stage where we're concluding revision, and what I wanted to do was briefly review what this IDN's technology was about in terms of domain name system and then talk about what the revision is about and where we stand on it.

The initial version is standard. I think James Seng is going to fill us in on some of the initial details on this. There was a book published in 2008. It's been widely deployed in some parts of the world, and ignored in others. The decision was whether or not to use the DNS zone with DNS registry. We discovered not very long after it was deployed that there were some problems, some issues. And the problems depends on the scripter looking at and how you think about things and what you think is important. That answer about importance is different, depending on whether you are someone actively involved in the domain name market trying to sell as many names as possible or if you're in the user environment trying to make sure certain users don't get tricked into going into places that they shouldn't be going.

So the first issue was with IDNA 2003 was what was called the exclusion model. Almost all of unicode there. We discovered when the original rules for hosts in the Internet were designed as early as the 1970s, that it was better to use the inclusion model. These characters were permitted, and no others. And it appears now that it probably would have been the right model to use for IDN and we're now shifting in that direction.

There's some language difficulties with IDNA 2003, most of which do not affect the region, but there were a few languages where it was not possible to write mnemonics in domain names. And that's a typographical error but it was tied to unicode 3.2. And it was now nearly at 5.2. There have been a great many scripts added and a great many languages supported that were not supported before.

So, we began to experiment and understand the implications, that there was confusion. Some of the confusion was deliberate. People trying to organize phishing, people trying to organize ways of getting other users to do things that they didn't want them to do. Other things were not deliberate. If someone sees a domain name or a URL on a billboard or a poster or on the side of a transport vehicle, it tries to write it down. The transcription problems get extremely difficult if you don't know the language and script in which that URL is written. URLs don't inherently contain very many script clues and IDN names generally contain fewer. So we had to deal with the unicode version problem.

Partly because the inclusion model of IDNA 2003 does a lot of mapping from one character to another, from compatibility characters. Peculiar fonts to non-peculiar fonts. And those that create their own kinds of visual confusion, because those characters can be much more different in appearance than simple font variations.

Users that got confused by the fact that one name would be typed in and another strain would appear when they looked a it in a browser, because of the way that IDNA works, many characters would be mapped with a number of characters with the total use in DNS, and then the mapping back gave only a smaller set of characters. And there were many characters that used other letters and digits, and they turned out to be very exciting if you were trying to organize a campaign, and almost impossible to think about if you were trying to describe them to someone who doesn't speak the same language that you do and doesn't use the script in which the domain names are written.

So, they started work on IDNA 2008 in mid-2007, building on an IETF report which was written a little bit earlier. And focusing on unicode independence inclusion model, trying to build things so it was rule-based rather than a specific algorithm. IETF WG was established early in 2008. We assumed it would be finished in about six months. We are now 18 months into the six months and it is not over yet � but it is getting close! I've been trying to figure out why it's taken us so long, and some of the reasons are interesting. Inclusion models make far more decisions than those that don't permit anything. Each time we look at another language, we find a new piece of excitement. Characters which are legitimately coded into unicode but are no longer used, but not the characters that you use everyday. It creates a situation where maybe they should be banned by the protocol and maybe by the registry, or maybe they shouldn't be banned at all.

We've had a popular argument, which has now circled the globe twice, which is summarized as a digit, and the people who believe that a digit is a digit believe that all digits should be equal to each other, with regard to the script that they're written in, and then the people who deal with the presentation in the local form. And the people who don't believe that all of those are distinct, even though you can't tell them apart.

Part of what we've also discovered is that there's a great deal of interest in having the DNS and the IDN system in totally different languages. When you look at your scripts, especially Latin-based scripts, we discover that some languages use characters in very different ways and some characters different characters in exactly the same way. The user thinks they should match. The domain name system doesn't know anything about languages or contexts. And one of our conclusions is whatever unicode is good for, it is good for many, many things. It wasn't for IDN use, and that was a good thing, because if it wasn't for IDN use, we wouldn't be able to write large amounts of text well. But it's an IDN problem because there's little context and we don't know the language and the font.

Another thing which has been a source of big delays is that as one moves from the IDNA 2003 model to the IDNA 2008 model, in spite of the fact that there are very few changes to the points of view, everything in that issue has become a bigger issue. We have two characters in two different European scripts which have changed in their interpretation, and we've spent endless weeks worrying about those two characters out of roughly 100,000 characters unicode. It's a very interesting way to spend almost two years! If this is your idea of fun!

And we've also discovered, as we always discover when we start talking about internationalization, that there are people who have any other than making these things work well on the identifiers. For a change, I have good news. When I said I saw that, I told people we had no idea. If the last call goes well, we should have publication of the documents before the end of the calendar year. Things could still go wrong - I'm hoping they won't.

Briefly, the transition issue is that there are a number of things in IDNA 2003, but nobody was recommending that people use them. That IDNA 2008 prohibits. If you are a registry and you have registered these labels, you will find that conforming browsers will not look them up. If the users of registers who register the labels think you promise them that they will work forever, they are going to be unhappy. That's a problem. As I mentioned, we've got interpretation in 2,000th of a percent of the unicode, but if you happen to depend on the interpretations, that's going to be a problem.

Mapping is now limited and strictly advisory. We have the U-label which is the unicode form of a label which is exactly what gets mapped into the DNS with a compatible form, and it is completely reversible with the ASCI form. If you know you have it, you don't have to reverse to ASCI compatible forms in order to compare to URLs. One of the things we didn't understand in 2003 was how important it could turn out to be to go and compare and send URLs to each other without leading them up, and that's particularly important with some URLs and URIs are not intended to be looked up � ever.

So, the plan is with the URIs and the IRIs only issue when label forms appear. And as I mentioned earlier, we have new rules and new tables and the tables are derived from the rules, so when a new version of unicode comes along, we should only have to derive were you new tables without the standards.

There is now a requirement that registries need policies. From an IETF stand point, we don't care what the registries are, but we expect there are policies that you can tell people about, even if the policies are there. Fortunately, most responsible registries already have policies and the other registries are probably hopeless. And work is going to be needed to support the new characters. Those that are pandering IDNA 2003, and those that appear to be a version of unicode. And in some registries, they're going to have to move into new approaches depending on the script and the usage.

I always feel I need to say this - IDNA 2008 is still not going to solve some basic problems. No naming system improves connectivity to the Internet. If you don't have connectivity - names don't do you much good! No naming system solves keyboard problems if you're trying to type characters on a computer and those characters do not appear on your keyboard, you have a problem. How hard that problem is, depends on how technically sophisticated you are, and how much trouble you're willing to go to, but there is a problem.

As I think we all know by now, there's some complex policy problems. Internationalization seems to make every policy problem worse. And we repeatedly run into language-specific issues with the script. It turns out that almost every script is used for multiple languages, is used a little bit differently in some of the languages than others and people feel very passionately now about the script, but about how their particular languages represent, but domain names think about languages. And while they're very good algorithms for figuring out what language something is written in if you have a paragraph or a page of text, those don't work well on two characters or three characters or half a dozen characters. But IDNA will provide a much better foundation to working on the problems than IDNA 2003 did. It will provide much better handles for the confusion, although it won't solve those problems either, and we may be much closer to being able to address the problems than we were a few years ago. Thank you very much.


JIAN ZHANG: Thank you for the wonderful presentation. I hope everybody here now has a better understanding of IDNA protocol progress. So, any questions regarding this issue? OK, that's good. That would be easy on you.

JOHN KLENSIN: I want to thank you. This is the first meeting we had about IDNA where there is such complete harmony, there are no questions.

JIAN ZHANG: Actually there's one.

JOHN KLENSIN: Not quite so much harmony.

WANG XUE: Wang Xue from CNNIC. I have a question. What do you think of the future of DNS. How is the future for naming and addressing? Is everything going to be based on DNS as well? Thank you.

JOHN KLENSIN: This is a very interesting question that has about a two-hour answer! I don't think that anybody is going to give me the two hours. But let me try to address two parts of it for you.

The first is simply the deployment barrier. We don't know how to get away from the DNS. We talk about new versions of DNS and we don't know how to get there. We know how to design them. We know how to think about things differently than design, and maybe if we were thinking about that over again, we do some things differently. But even the notion of trying to make the DNS native for internationalized characters would require, we think, new DNS classes and new DNS label types. And for those of you who don't know what that means, it means that this is harder to deploy. A considerable of the DNS, the DNSSEC has been, we've spent ten years trying to get that deployed. So, if you figure out the DNS merely takes 20 years, probably, nobody is going to think about doing that.

So, a very, very serious deployment problem with the independent design problems.

Now, the other answer, and I hinted at some of it in the talk, is that there are a number of problems with how the IDNs doesn't solve. People really want sensitivity to their language depending on the script. IDNs won't fix that. People really want names to appear in the order in which their cultures expect them to appear. The localized name, that other name, that wide area name makes a lot of sense in many areas of Europe. But maybe not in the UK where they drive on the other side of the road than many of us do! Those same rules make less sense in Asian countries with a normal ordering of names is different. Most people don't use domain names on the Internet most of the time. They use URIs or things or variations for URIs, and internationalized domain names don't help with the https:// part or any of the other deliverables.

This is special right with right to left languages. Where writing those things is http name/other strain backwards and other strain forwards. That's a nightmare. And to begin to address those problems requires different ways of looking at it. Many of them are communities in talking about key words that really identify objects of interest in the user interface, rather than identifying network resources of interest within network facing. Probably because DNS deployment problem, the right thing to do is to start thinking about those approaches, and building on top of DNS.

The other thing which is happening is that as we even worry about the DNS IDNs, most of the users in the world have discovered search engines. Google sees a tremendous number of queries for www.something.something and they know what to do with that. But if a user can use a search engine which is probably orientated towards the local language and the local culture and the local conventions and avoid not only domain names whether they're internationalized or not, but the increasing trends for horribly long tails of URLs, then maybe domain names for those users are the answer to a question which is no longer relevant.

Still, very important for network mnemonics and for the internationalization, but if the question is, what is the user going to see in 15 years from now? I'm not certain it's domain names. Any other questions?

AFTAB AHMED SIDDIQUI: Aftab Ahmed Siddiqui from Pakistan. I just don't to know the idea at work for the act when you speak about the IDN. Are we still relying on the browsers?

JOHN KLENSIN: You still have to rely on the browser side and you still have to rely on a whole series of other things, not protocol. The problem with those attacks is that you start to generalize beyond one or two specific examples. Is that the confusability of a pair of characters is very much in the eyes of the user. I want you all to try to do a little bit of an exercise with me that I discovered as I was sitting here in the previous session.

I want you to pretend as little as you know about what Latin-based characters look like, as you do about some script that you have never seen before with some users in other parts of the world. And now, with that particular experiment in mind, I want you to look at the first character in the upper left of this logo. I want you to look at the first character here. And I want you to look at the first character in .Asia, and then I want you to ask yourselves whether or not you're absolutely certain, given that you're trying to pretend that you haven't seen Latin characters for years, whether those are the same characters or different characters? For those of you who read Chinese characters, please notice that the difference between this character and that character over there is less than the difference between some Chinese radicals. You've got the same problem. So once we have the so-called homograph problem with the letters is that if you're looking at a script that you don't know, you can't tell when two letters are different, so, if you see a script that you don't know, when you have two letters who are the same, and if you are expecting to see a string which is in your local script and it doesn't occur to you that some character there might be in some other script, and you use a script with a wide variation of fonts in which the way things are written is common, and these are just variations of fonts, then anything that looks like what you're expecting.

So this notion that we can develop a universal set of rules of the characters which are confusable discounts one important character in this factor, which is people. And we don't know how to solve that protocol. The browsers will have to get smarter. The registries will have to be more conservative. We may have to start making decisions, probably at a registry level than a global one as to whether we think protection of the users is more important than selling more names. And that will show off the question period.

JIAN ZHANG: Any other questions?


Next, the senior director of IDNs will provide a status report of the IDN activity at ICANN.

TINA DAM: Thank you, chair. So, I think we're in a really great time right now, it's really exciting. We're in the last steps of making IDNs a reality at the top level, which is going to be really useful. So, it's my pleasure to give you a status report on how things are going ahead at ICANN. And of course, it's in the form of IDNs. I'm going to talk a little bit about the two processes which are going to make IDNs a top level a reality, and where we are from a practical standpoint, and a little bit about timing of launch and what are the very next immediate steps.

As I mentioned, there's a couple of ways of getting IDNs at the top level. First of all, we've had them as test TLDs since 2005 and you can go to the address that's listed over here on the slide. If you haven't already been there, you can go and try things out and see how it is working. But moving ahead and getting IDN TLDs into production, you can either choose from the IDN fast track process or the process for the introduction of gTLDs. And especially for the one that ends with the last steps. So, my presentation is going to focus mostly on that and on the fast track, because it is the first process coming up now.

So, this slide is just a general overview and where are we from a practical stand point. There's a couple of things that we still need to get into place in order to be operational. For example, part of the evaluation of strings that are requested through the fast track will have to be checked by the DNS stability panel. That panel is just in the steps of being formed. We have a contractor designated and the specific members have been approached and hired for that purpose. And the rest of the things that I decided to put on the slide are a little bit more internal processes. There's a linguistic relations, so in the fast track, which is a limited process, where you can request a name that corresponds to a country or a territory name, there's going to be some linguistic checks as to whether the string really is a meaningful representation of the territory name. And also, to ensure that it's respected in the formal script of that country's territory. So we're going to have some support processes up to help with that. Some of them are UN focused and some of them are not, and all of these processes are also in the steps of being finished. So we have an online system which is those who wish to participate can log in and send a request, is almost finished, so basically we need a review and some more formal testing to make sure that it works in the right way. And then we're changing the whole area on the ICANN website for a fast track process, so there will be some more user participants and specific information about who can participate and what is the process for that.

So that's a very practical overview. That leads me to the next three slides, which is going to be a little bit more controversial. These are outstanding issues that still need to be solved and that communities also are still discussing.

The first one is the relationship with ICANN. What kind of relationship should managers have with ICANN? And right now, we have three proposed solutions on the table and it looks like it might be a mix-up of the three. And one is that there is a mandatory arrangement which is similar to the accountability framework that we have in ccTLDs. And number two is an exchange of letters and number three is the very minimum which is check boxes in the online request system where they will agree to technical standards such as the protocol that Dr Klensin was giving you a proposal on.

And we expect the need for finalization for board consideration to happen at the next ICANN meeting in Seoul in Korea. And we need to include that in the request system forms and notifications and all of the information that goes out to you.

Number two, cost considerations. It is of course, not free to run a process like this. So, ICANN staff have completed some analysis over what are the costs associated with developing IDNs at ICANN and what are the costs associated with running the process for the fast track? And what we came up with is, you know really hard to estimate, because we don't know how many requests are going to go in and be processed. But based on an expected 50 requests for the first couple of years, it will be a processing fee of about USD 26,000, and then the annual recommended fee. We listened to you and the feedback we got is that it should be tiered and different, and that those countries and territories that for example give ICANN Registrations for free, they should be free.

So the annual recommended fee which is covering development and ongoing support is set 1% and 3%. And it looks like it is going to be about the same, but we are going through the details, and the detail is progressing, it is going to be a little easier for us to specify some of the costs.

And half of it is that there's been a lot of requests about - what does ICANN really mean with the recommended and other terminology used is pre-arranged? So pre-arranged terminology fees. And looking at the mandatory cost.

And the third topic, which is really relevant for the region is the topic of variance. And this is something that we've struggled with for some time. We came up with a couple of different proposals to how to implement it. The first actually was to delegate the variance at the level and then log all of the rest of them, and the second proposal was to see the variance.

What happens in ICANN with the policies and so forth is that the feedback that we got is that the community really disagrees with Rodney on whether either or one of the solutions is stable, and at the same time works for the community. So, that looks at we've asked volunteers from the communities to help us out because neither of the solutions we came up with was agreeable, so to tender, we have a support team of specific experts from the communities that are going to help staff come up with a good way forward. The result that the team is coming up with is going to be published before the Korea meeting, again at the end of October. But more importantly for me to say is that we really don't want this to be a stop for the fast track process. The fast track process is a limited process and we need to launch it, you know, as quickly as possible to get IDN TLDs out and functioning, so if the support team can't come up with a solution to deal with the variance in the short-term, well then we need to launch the fast track anyways, but without the variance.

Which, of course, is not state is factory solutions to certain regions of the world and that includes the Asia-Pacific region.

Protocol. So, John talked all about this. I was really happy about that because it meant that I could just include my slide, and that is to tell you what is ICANN going to do about the new proceed call? Well, since the result is the slight difference in what characters are valid and which are not valid, ICANN is going to accept characters which are valid under the new version of the protocol. And some of them will be conceptual rules and so forth. What it means in the short-term for the fast track process is that we may need some manual checks of the strengths, and the reason for it is that the protocol, obviously, even though it might be finished, it won't be implemented and the conversion tools won't be available, so we're going to have to go about this in a manual fashion in some cases. And at the same time, also making sure that we show all users that useability is really limited, especially in the cases where you use characters that were invalid before, but that are becoming valid in the protocol. And so the application loggers have updated their implementations. These characters can't be used. But, you know, that's kind of like the chicken and the egg situation and we have to accept the new protocol. All right, so that takes me to gTLD specifics. This is really brief, I won't say that there is a lot of information online in regard to gTLDs.

The two IDN-specific concerns are around variance that I talk about, and then also in terms of the number of characters that you can have in the gTLD string. Currently the requirement is a minimum of three characters and this is difficult, because it's difficult to count, first of all, these characters, and secondly, especially in China and other places, it doesn't really work well because you have the one and two character combinations that are full words and have meanings. So that's other topic with the community experts to support on and publish the result, or proposals for how to solve the problems.

And then for the gTLD perspective, I'll get to the timing in the next slide, but since the gTLD process is going down the road, we expect conversion tools to be ready by the launch and it means that the process will be there with the strings from a technical stand point, will be less manual than the fast track.

So timing - on the fast track process, we're still aiming at the same timeline as we have had for a long time, and that is that the final implementation plan will be posted before it comes in, and for the ICANN board to do their considerations during the Korea meeting. And if the board approves it in Korea, that means that we can launch the process shortly after. A couple of minor things to be adjusted depending on decisions.

The gTLD process is also keeping the same timeline that it has had for some time, and that is that the version three of the applicant guide book will be published and that is there before 2010. In terms of the IDN activities, there is probably going to be a lot of IDN sessions.

One of them is and how it works and however, since some countries and territories would like to have conversations about their specific strings and so forth, we also are going to have individual sessions available, and so if you're interested in participating, you can set up a session with the staff support functions and have a complete walk through of how the fast track will be working and you can ask any questions that you have. Of course, you can ask them for here as well.

There's going to be some basic sessions and all of the supporting organizations and advisory committees are also expected to have IDNs in the program z as well. So with that, the slides are online, and looking at a whole range of information about IDNs if you need anything else. Thank you.

JIAN ZHANG: Thank you, Tina. Any questions for Tina? No. OK.

JIAN ZHANG: James is an expert. Welcome.

JAMES SENG: Hi, everyone. I'm from Singapore. This slide is going to be a bit awkward because I will talk a bit about history of how it came about � about international domain names. There is a test being conducted by ICANN in 2007 and this is what we need. You can have domain names in � This is what you see and how it works. This is at the actual recently registration desk you can see it. So, IDN, for those don't know, is very significant to us because a large number of people from our region is needing it. It is no longer viable. John mentioned that domain names and we do often use names in the domain names. We don't try to use the names as names. And we try to represent ourselves online. So, it's not a short journey. She might be right but she saw a long time ago.

The concept started in 1996. That was 13 years ago. It started a while ago. He started in Zurich and then moving to Japan. He was giving lectures and he was saying an international domain name is possible. Some say it's not possible. So he decided to try and an Internet draft approved and proved it was possible.

About early 1998, they found the Internet draft very fascinating and decided to get the Internet draft in Asia and that leads to the Asia-Pacific networking groups being formed. We have had a meeting where we have the iDNSs and working group that's been formed trying to figure out how to bring forward the early processing environment information. And then, a couple of months later we started a trial trying to do this. And in February 1999, we started a trial across China, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Seven countries. These actually, APNIC, Paul Wilson actually played a very significant role. APNIC sponsored one of our very first servers for the testing. That was back in 1999. That was 10 years ago. And in June 1999, we got some funding and they gave us money in the region to try this.

And in July 1999, three years later, we passed a draft called UTF 5 and it was by J-seng, Martin Dursh and TW Tan. And so that was at least three years in there before you would get there. So in December of 1999, that's the first time we actually reached IETF. I think in December 1999, I think that's when I met John, who gave me this very weird look trying to do this thing called nationalization domain names.

But surprisingly, we got very positive and negative, but overall very positive response from the community. And we came on the first processing event formed. You can't form a group in at least 1.5 years. So we took months to perform the working group. And a co-chair came on board in 2000. And we have two advisors. John Klensin and another person. You know how long John has been working on this.

In July 2000, there are other formations of communities that revolve around international and domain names. There's a multi-lingual Internet name consortium. A team from the Asia-Pacific, engineers from TWNIC, CNNIC and JPNIC, and there are others that are still doing very well now are the Chinese Domain Name consortium. Currently, Lucy is still pushing ahead for this. That formed in July 2000.

We talked to ICANN. ICANN said, "This is interesting, maybe we should look at something." So we formed a working group in 2001. So that has been how long this has been going. But, the process takes a long time. From the time you decide it's formed, to actually being formed, it took seven months. So then the committee was formed.

Others came on board. We had a joint consortium meeting in 2001. And 2002 ICANN has the first workshop. I remember giving a presentation similar introduction to the ICANN community for the very first time. And I showed them a slide where he has Chinese, Japanese and Korean domain name. And it looked exactly the same but without that. There's no way the lawyers could understand how to resolve it, resolve the issues. So we have interesting conversation there.

And ITU came along. And then finally, after three years in IETF. And the very first time for this. In June 2003, ICANN published something to register domain names. And a year later, we wrote CJK online. And it is one of the first that has been published by Chinese Professor Chen at the back is among one of many others who was involved in this. This was published in 2004.

So, this is three years in one section and four years in another. And then we move on to ICANN. It took a long time. ICANN has had phone committees, study groups. And eventually, Tina joined in 1996. And that's when really it started to kick-off in ICANN, the pace started to kick-off, thanks to Tina. And she has much information. There was a workshop in Monaco, in Egypt and one in KL.

The most important one is there is a working group from a community. In 2007, there was a presentation on that working group. And ICANN started moving ahead and said maybe to start a trial at the root level. So it started after the presentation in October 2007. And a year later, the variation of the trial was completed and it was considered a success. And that's when a few other issues had come up. There are some that John has mentioned which I won't repeat and then we need another working group for revision. Initially it was meant to be for six months, then it was two years. That is V-Cerf and in June 2008, ICANN agreed to fast track IDN for ccTLD. We're in the process now and hopefully it will be completed soon. In October 2008, the first ICANN GTLD application guidebook was published and it was to allow IDN GTLD.

It has been a journey for us, 13 years for us. I'm not sure whether we're at the end of the journey, we're still in the midst of the journey. I think 2009 and in to 2010 we will see some ccTLD as a driver. And hopefully in 2010.

With the ICANN guideline, IDN GTLD application in Q1 2010, and maybe 2010. But we are hopefully we will start to see it in a first commercial IDN GTLD non-profit. Moving forward, I hope. This is the first step of the end of the journey. I think it's only the first step because the next 10 years is how to dedicate the user, to show them how to use these domain names. Yep. This has been a long journey for many of us. Some of us have worked together. And thank you very much.

JIAN ZHANG: Thank you, James. It's really educating, actually. Any questions for James? OK. That's easy. Lucy has more than 10 years in the Internet and online marketing industry. Today she's going to speak on behalf of CDNC. To cover some specific issues. I give you Lucy. Please welcome.

LUCY WANG: Good afternoon. It's my honour to give this presentation on behalf of CDNC. I saw the topic I'm supposed to present is - there has been some internal communication mistake, I was assigned just to talk about handling of variance.

Right, let's start from the vision I believe everybody here probably all have. Everyone has a right to seek, receive, impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers. That's why we're here to talk about this.

Now my speech is going to involve three major aspects. How CDNC handles the issue and the partition for ideas as well as the readiness of CDNC.

As you know, just how some aspects give us whole ideas and history about this from a professional perspective. But from end-user perspective, we all experience this. If we want to access a website, we normally have to input a domain name, such like this, And this kind of Internet nature, the address is typically expressed using URIs. This URI Syntax has restricts web addresses to smaller number of characters. Just upper and lower case letters of English upper case. European numbers and a small number of singles. The reason for this was to aid in computer systems and in computer communications to avoid crashes with characters. To facilitate entry using those input facilities available to most of the Internet users.

As a Chinese Internet user, if I want to access a website of a Mercedes-Benz, I have to type this URL, which is difficult for most of Chinese to type it correctly. So we would all expect, we hope and wish to type www.- (Space in Chinese) And the use of this have moved on and there is now a need to use characters from any language in the web addresses. We understand this is going to enable us to create, memorize, transcribe, interpret the Internet much easier. It is also important for brand recognition. This is in turn is better for business, better for finding things and better for communicating. It's better for the web. This is what we understand as an end-user, an IDN, an internationalized domain name, which is the mean of localization. In some way given the global nature of the Internet.

That means the whole system needs to be localized, adapted to our particular language, our political writing system and characters codes and location and interests.

Now while we implement this IDN, we're facing some issues. Among them, variant, is definitely one of the most important and maybe with some threats and a lot of concerns. It requires sophisticated technology solution and policies to deal with it.

Let's take a look of the definition of variant. What is a variant? This is something quoted from the ICANN website. Variant characters are two or more characters that are similar in appearance and result in two domain names to be visionally confusing. Like encyclopaedia. In Chinese, it seems like we have another definition of variant. Variant is a character or word, in different writing scripts, comparing to those which are representing same meaning and co-exists and informal writing of Chinese. Not just Mandarin Chinese. Let's take example of this.

This means in society. It is a simplified Chinese character side. And the right side is a traditional Chinese character set. And we both share a character set, sure. OK. These two strings, the second character of the strings, they share the synchronization and the same meaning as well but the two versions are - they share the main characters but simply they don't look the same, the second characters. They don't look the same. These are called character variance and have the potential to cause confusion for end-users, or even to face fraud tax when using traditional Chinese script to register domain names.

Let's take another look at this case. This is a combination of three characters. It means Y. And for each character has one variant, so we cannot, with at least the six combination of these strings. And these six register names should be as one name.

OK. Let's take another look at this. The innovation of Chinese character, this gives you an illustration of how the Chinese characters have been changed over the past, you know, years. From the variation time. So many different scripts that look similar and they are definitely not the same. In some way, like small scripts and the large scripts, they also rightly adopted for door plates. And the grass script is basically for Chinese.

Legitability is not a prime concern. It's more for looking and pleasing. John and James have addressed the history of the issue. I'm going to skip it. I won't go in to it too much. OK. Now, I just said, certainly this caused a lot of concerns. From a network point of view, facing identifier and user-facing names. It causes tension between this. And it also causes some constraints on solutions.

And also we all understand the requirement for non-ASCII names is clear but caution is in order. And it's hard to go back if too permissive. Let's take another look. I got this from Tina Dam. I think this was a very clear indicator. The worst scenario could be one of the following two. Either that IDNs will be filled with phishing attacks that IDNs will be of no use and users will be scared of using them or restrictions in the application layer will be so strict that IDNs will for example not resolve in an adequate and at least not in a stable and secure manner. That's not what we want. And it's not the purpose we're trying to implement ideas.

Now, I'd like to share some experience on how CDNC handles the issue. First of all I gave you a brief introduction of CDNC. This stands for Chinese Domain Name Consortium. It was formed in 2000. It was formed by four NICs. CNNIC, TWNIC, HKIRC, and MONIC. And later joined by SGNIC, CONEC and a number of other world well-known registries and registrars, as well as some domain name user alliance, like CDNUA.

We found this organization because we share a vision that Internet and e-commerce in the digital knowledge age shall be more widely adopted by non-English speaking communities. The mission of CDNC is to harmonize, promote and self-regulate registry operations and services of Chinese domain names. And to adopt most advanced technology available to serve the Chinese domain name users.

Milestones - actually, we share a large part of what James presented to us, was what he did. Because James is one of the very active members. Thank you very much, James. And from here you can see that CDNC has been, you know, very dedicated to RND, research and development. And including and trying to work out regulations, policies, standards. And even infrastructure. Since 2001, and 2003, CDNC submitted a draft to IETF, including CDNC variant table. Later in 2005, joined with TWNIC, submitted a new version of the CDN registration guideline. And I think in 2005, IMA published the Chinese character table. And, recently, in 2007, IETF promoted RF C4552 overview of framework for this. For all these years, we've learned to adopt a strategy for international domain names worldwide.

That's to minimize changes to the current DNS systems. And must not break existing structure and hierarchy. Support all languages. Support as many encoding as desired. Avoid ambiguity. And also, hopefully, work everywhere for everyone.

We must follow IETF process. Seek international consensus. And minimize disruption of protocol changes. And harmonize solutions. Adopt the simplest solution.

Now, we all know that we've got a solution. The basic principles of the solution R FC3743. I've highlighted several of them. Domain name string should be bundled with a specified language. We understand that domain name, domain name string could be bundled with many languages and this should be avoided, since the consequence of bundling with many languages could result directly with impossible registration of the domain name. Therefore a domain name string should only be recognized as a legitimate one within a certain language character set, which is very important.

And because of that, a sufficient variant table of a specified language could be identified as well. It is not in common practice for any of countries in the world to employ every character ended in the Unicode suite. Therefore, it should be verified using every language bundled.

We also believe that the variance of domain name string should be reserved. Since in a specified language, a name usually has many variants; therefore, this variance should be reserved to protect the rights of the holder. They are also entitled to be activated, or deactivated at the request of the holder. If the variants should be implemented in the root zone for resolution or transfers. Another principle we believe the preferred variants should be all result. Not every variant is frequently used. Among the most frequently used ones, there may be only a small portion of the variants in to the DNS system for variants in to the DNS system for resolution.

The amount of variants should be constrained. The reason has been, I just showed you the variants, the number of variants a Chinese character name has. A name which has 10 Han characters could result in 1,024 variants if each of the character has one variant. Among these variants, some are meaningful, some don't make any sense at all. The resolution to all of these variants could be a huge burden to administration system. Therefore, some reasonable methods should be deployed to reduce the amount of variants for resolution protection. Last one - we believe name string and its variants have a characteristic of Atom, which needs to be dealt as a package. Once a name and its variants are created, they are relevantly compacted together. They should be dealt with as a whole package while an individual or independent handle of any of the variants in the package is strictly for fended.

OK, technically, there have been a lot of nay-sayers about IDNs. And it's been proven we can solve these problems. I have a petition here which I'll go through quickly because I'm running out of time. First of all, the implementation of IDN variants is of utmost importance to our community as variants are often used interchangeably, similar although not the same, as upper-case and lower-case characters in English.

Members of CDNC believe that the introduction of allocation of variant strings in the root zone will also avoid visual confusability and potential phishing attacks. Such policy will also ensure the skirt and stability of the Internet in a multilingual environment.

One of the major concerns is about the technical solution I just mentioned. We have been, you know, practicing for nearly a decade. And it's been proven to be one of the most sufficient and rigorous way of managing this issue. CDNC represents 99% of Chinese domain name stakeholders. Such common issues shall be envisaged and dealt with across SOs and constituencies in ICANN with respect to the CDN community. To help fulfill ICANN's goal of ensuring a smooth and secure launch of IDN, ccTLD and gTLD in the near future, CDNC would like to recommend the ICANN community and staff to jumpstart the currently pending works on IDN guideline update. We believe that the completion of the sufficient rules and policy on implementing IDN TLD is critical for existing registrations and new gTLD applicants.

We strongly urge ICANN to consider our view and firm position on this particular issue. Thanks.

JIAN ZHANG: Any questions for Lucy? Thank you. Our last speaker here is Edmon Chung from Dot Asia. And he will talk about TLDs.

EDMON CHUNG: I hope to take probably 5-8 minutes overtime to go through some of this and hopefully it's interesting for everyone. We've talked a lot about IDNs, especially about variance and Chinese domain names. I'm going to talk a bit more about that, actually, but in a perspective of a gTLD. Especially IDNs and gTLD and IDNs and gTLDs themselves. We'll be talking about some general considerations on this and IDN on the second level and on the top level. What it means for gTLDs and what types of things GTLDs registries have to do. I know people don't think they have much to do, but we do. Some general considerations I think, James and John have also mentioned earlier on, the technical standards, the protocol are part of the IDN standards, it's not covering everything that we need to take in to consideration.

There's a variant issue, like the traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese. There's also the issue of what I'm calling confusable characters, which is to somewhat distinguish between the variant issue, confusable characters which exist between, for example, Latin scripts like A, B in English alphabet, could essentially look and could be the same character in the Greek character repertory. So there's these type of issues that gTLDs as we look at IDNs wile look in to.

A few of the challenges of gTLDs versus ccTLDs is that one important part is it's global in nature, which means for ccTLDs, for example in China, the focus is on simplified Chinese and that's the area that the community looks into. For a gTLD, we have to take care of the whole different types of languages, especially those that use the same or have an overlapping script repertory. For example, repertoire. I'll take about costs later. In a second level IN domains for gTLDs, there's policy aspect and the technical aspect - how you implement the policies in to the technical system of a gTLD?

So, in terms of the policy, one of the first things is what's called an IDM language table. You can look to adopt what has already been put in place as a ccTLD, for example, what CNNIC .CN is doing or what .JP is doing. Another way to look at it is to develop your own language table. There are a couple of things that are important while you look into, while the gTLD looks in to adopting the ccTLD language table. One of the most important things, as I mentioned, is besides looking at one particular language set, as a gTLD, you're confronted with multiple language sets. The challenge is, for example, between Chinese and Japanese, is the overlapping of characters. How do you deal with that situation? You talk a lot about the variant issues. But when you have to accept registrations from both Chinese and Japanese, how you deal with the variant issue may differ from the policies adopted by the individual, by the particular ccTLD.

So just some suggestions as to consider is that fairness, confusion and competition. I'll come back to this theme a little bit later, is a lot of it is to consider fairness. Fairness between registrars, confusion between users, how users might be confused. These are two very different type of stakeholders. Users want to see a domain name and type it in to the browser. And registrar, is the company registering the domain. Another issue at force is, for example, in China, you would focus on simplified Chinese. For a gTLD, you'd have to take care of both. If you're presented with a particular strain for application or for application or registration, you would have to consider both options.

So, my own suggestion for our perspective is potentially to merge the two and consider both the tables of the same type for gTLDs.

There are a couple of things - we talked a little bit about variant and what it means? I think that was a very good presentation from CDNC. But the easier way for at least a gTLD registry to consider what a variant is, is really whatever is defined by the IDN language table you adopt. That's a very simplistic way to view it and a very technical way to view it. What needs to be taken in to consideration is how to deal with it? You have a number of variants. There's preferred variants which is what you would include in to this or what you would reserve? That's a different type of management.

There was also a mention that all the variants should be treated as an atom which you cannot split out. But, as a gTLD, there are other forces that we have to consider. There are different courts in the world that could give us a court order that says, "You need to give this domain to somebody else." In those kind of cases, the system and the registration and all the policies need to consider those type of policies. For example, if a particular variant goes through the dispute process and is determined to do this, that particular variant has to go to somebody else. At least your system has to be set up to allow it. I know in the default, that's not, that is not preferred, nor is it desired. However, as a gTLD, you should probably consider potentially your system may have to deal with these type of situations.

Again, for gTLD, it's very important about trademark and intellectual property rights, considerations, when you deploy IDNs and have to consider sunrise processes to deal with trademark. Claimants. Those who have rights to certain names. You have to deal with some resolution, whether it's a first-come, first-served process. How do you deal with that? If the trademark is in, let's say a simplified Chinese and they come in with an application for a traditional Chinese, do you take that as a match? Is a kind of question your process will need to take in to consideration.

Um, also another type of issue, if you currently have existing ASCII domain names, you might need to consider it. Whether to give considerations to existing ASCII registration or - but the consideration itself has to be taken in to, taken in to account. Especially for names that have a trademark with it. Those are the kinds of things, those are the kinds of things that gTLD registries are worried with. A lot of the brand owners are very concerned with gTLD processes and often they threat to sue us. I did mention the flexibility that's important. And then we talk a bit about the unique use of the domain name platform I mentioned between Japanese and Chinese, there is some variant. There's a variant issue. But for Japanese, they use a character which is an overlap of the Han character.

If, in fact, there's a Japanese domain registered for a particular name, how do you determine whether another domain that is in Chinese is unique and allowed to be registered? Whether it's an exact match. Whether a particular variant collides with the Japanese registration? That needs to be taken into consideration within the system. So, again, you have to understand there is a limitation on the ideas and policies. You can implement your policies and enforce them but you can't guarantee for the further levels. If you provide registration for the second level, you don't know whether in the third or fourth level, the same type of policies would be enforced. Some of this is a little bit repeating because on the IDN TLD, the most important area, beside the issues I've mentioned, whether you are looking at a single IDN TLD, which is just focused on the IDN language or you're looking at a group.

Of course, there are ICANN considerations, the application process, the objection process and the contention process.

The main difference between a dedicated single one is you focus on particular language community and you focus a portfolio of IDN gTLDs and you have to consider how it can match your existing TLD. Here are some of the user expectations we have come across. This is from our research we've seen. What users want is the full IDN experience. For example, they would want a full Chinese version of it in Asia. But there's a user expectation that a computer in Asia is the same as others, which the character COMPUTER, if it's the same domain and setting level, that would happen to be the same. Similarly, for IDN registrations, a full IDN registration, they would expect it to be the same for .ASIA. However, users do not expect a translation, for example, computer.Asia, users do not expect that to be the same.

So one of the things I've found is perhaps what you should think about is that if you have a group of TLDs, serving the same intended equivalent of gTLDs, you should consider serving the same zone. This is just an example of what I mentioned in terms of Japanese. For example, the first example, you see that sort of means economics. And then there's the simplified traditional Chinese version and a Japanese version, a Kanji version, they're all different characters. If you register one of them, you may have to consider not allowing the others. Even though if you came in with Japanese first, you may have to consider that the variants which are included, blocking application, so that's one of the things you should consider.

So, here's a very similar example. Again, it's just a simplified, traditional Chinese and Japanese, all utilizing similar characters. All similar meaning as well. In any case, this is some of the challenges on the gTLD level and for ICANN and the different type of, different from just ccTLD point of view. One of the things I'd like to mention is that there needs to be some sort of consistency in the root zone management for these type of language tables in order for registered applicants to understand what domains are still available and what TLDs should be still available and whether they should be blocked, reserved, delegated or how? This is the final part, I want to mention a few things.

There is the application process to be considered. There is the objection process. You have to understand that there's an objection process to consider whether you will object to somebody. If you see somebody else applying for a similar string or a confusable string, how you would object? And then how contention is identified? Right now ICANN has an option system to resolve certain contentions. If there are two applicants for .web, there would be a number of different processes that may end up to be an option. There are two applicants for one in traditional Chinese and one in simplified Chinese, how you deal with it, and one for Japanese? How do you deal with that situation? It sort of is implied in the applicant guidebook and policies. There is no variant management policy at the ICANN root level at this point.

Finally, it's a very expensive thing. There's the ICANN application and the other part is that each registration, there will be a registry fee collected. So if you want to make the same variants or as a same domain for the registrant, you may have to pay twice, for example, to ICANN, in the case of the gTLD. And that's not fully clear at this point, whether how that will be handled.

So I think there's some interesting times ahead, as James mentioned. 10 years of ICANN is 10 years of IDN. We have the IDN ccTLD and the IDN gTLD. I think it's going to be exciting times. I've also worked for quite a long time on IDNs. And really want it to happen. But there's still quite a lot of work to do. Thank you.

JIAN ZHANG: Thank you for giving us a detailed point of view from a gTLD perspective. Any questions?

DR HONG XUE: I have a question. Not specifically for the question is - Tina should be the top authority here to explain this important policy issue. I thought about technology and policy. We know the introduction of new gTLDs, one of the principle has been that it should not be confusingly similar as existing gTLD strings. We're all really sad. But how did you find confusing similarity is always an interesting issue. To my knowledge, and as one of the members of the IDN working group, of our final agreement on this critical issue is confusing similarity should be limited to visual similarity. So the new gTLD strains should not be looking similar to the existing strings. This is back to these scripts. It is very unlikely for them to be looking similar with any of the existing gTLD strings.

For example, .net is written in a Chinese character looks very different but recently we know the IRT report, it is primarily the trademark protection. But the last section in the report is about string contention. It's about string confusion. It seems the IRT, that group is suggesting the definition or similarity should be expanded to oral and meaningful similarity. This is a very important initiative. Of course, I haven't heard any response from ICANN on this. But I was told that a new guidebook was being worked on. So IRTs only mind group, so hopefully a new guidebook will take into account the feedbacks from various stakeholders on this issue. But before the launch of the version three of the guidebook, we want to know what is the state of this, the present understanding of this critical issue?

Because if you look at the present practices, there is .command .biz. Accreditation of .biz, they look different. Meaningfully, they're quite similar.

TINA DAM: OK, this is working. Wow, that's quite a question. I would say, first up, since one of my vice-presidents weren't able to answer you, it would probably be inappropriate for me to give an answer that maybe my management wouldn't agree on. But I wasn't on that call, so I guess I can be of some clarification.

First up, the definition of what is confusable to similar is really difficult, right? It depends on what your native language is. What your familiarity is with the writing system and so forth. So it is really hard. The process has some checks included in it and as far as I know, that's about visually confusability. Although, I noted that there was a discussion expanding that concept. That's probably why part of the answer you got from management at ICANN was we're still working on it. Because the community is still disagreeing on it.

If you take something like variants and take it to a similar strings, some variants are confusing visually with similar and others are not. So they're part of it, right?

When you lock at something like the fast track process, and you want to include variants in all kinds of categories, and you're looking at a fast track process that is not really dealing with visually confusable and similar. At least not in the same way as the gTLD process is doing because it doesn't have the same checks and balances in there, it doesn't have the linguistic panel and all the things the gTLD process has. Then you start looking at a fast track process that is expanded and is becoming increasingly difficult for ICANN staff to implement.

So that's why I'm saying, and that's why my definition of variants or variation of strings in that process is different. The proposal was to cut out those parts of variants that will cause a technical stability problem and we can't have that in the fast track because it's intended to be a safe limited round. When you include variants, it becomes more difficult.

One of the things you said is that all these applications that are coming in for IDNs can't possibly look like answer that is in the root. We have to disagree with you on that even without variants I would have to disagree with you. If you look in Unicode, there are some characters from a variety of different scripts and languages that actually are confusingly similar.

Um, of course, it's not as bad as scenario as if we only opened for ASCII. That would be much stronger and confusing.

So, I think basically what I'm saying is we really need to solve the problem. But it may not necessarily be resolvable in this process. GTLD, they're still working on it. If you have a good solution, then I welcome it.

EDMON CHUNG: That's a very good question. And I agree very much in the intent and the direction of which. I just want to make some clarification on the GNSO policy development process. There are two things. One, in the IDN which you alluded to, yes, I think the conclusion there is that basically existing gTLDs should not have a priority or a preference of their translations of the IDN versions, nor in future gTLDs. For the same reason. But, in terms of viewing anything similar, the discussion was that confusingly similar is based on a convention perhaps so that you dealt with it more than I do, which the idea was to follow the past convention of how it's dealt with in terms of confusingly similar. At least from the GNSO perspective, which I happened to be on that at that time, myself not being a lawyer, but the intent of which in terms of confusingly similar was to utilize the international accepted principles for confusingly similar definitions.

JOHN KLENSIN: I can only, especially since we're running late, give a variation on what we said before. If we run a realistic definition of this, if you're worried about is confused users. If we're worried about confusing users, then to a greater lesser extent, depending on what it is we're worried about, perception is important to sound alike, that's important. Means alike is important. And then the question is how far you want to go down that path, where that path is a trade-off between the largest and most aggressive and competitive domain names market you could possibly upgrade and the safest environment for users who could possibly operate. And because this is a matter of complex trade-offs and multiple factors contributing to what we mean by confusingly similar, this is not an easy problem.

And what ICANN should do and at what schedule, that doesn't help get the problem resolved. One other observation is that as we have looked at the world's writing systems and their evolution, we have discovered virtually every writing system in the world contains some variation of things with small dots and things that look like small lines and whether they could be vertical, horizontal, angular. And while it can certainly be said that most of the characters don't look very much like most of the characters in most other scripts, absolute statements like no string in this script is going to look like any other script.

JIAN ZHANG: OK. Any other comments? I think this variants issue is really a complicated issue. So probably we're going to stop here today, because we're running very late.

SRINIVAS CHENDI: Thank you very much for chairing the session and for all the speakers for your time. It's very much appreciated. APPLAUSE I have a couple of announcements to make. There's a new workshop happening. Those at the APNIC meeting can attend this. And it will help you understand what happens in APNIC meetings and how you can participate in APNIC meetings, especially on Thursday, the policy SIG day. And, there's a dinner tonight. It's the opening reception sponsored by DotAsia. We will leave at the lobby level, just where you check in. And the last bus will leave at 6:35. Any newcomers, there will be last bus leaving at 6:15pm, for the convenience for them. And you need to bring this card, which is in the bag. It has a voucher on it. If you would like to go for a lucky door prize, you need that ticket there.

And we'll do a lucky draw prize, hopefully. Please bring that along with you. And we'll see you tomorrow. Hopefully, we can have some fun. Get together with your friends or make you friendships. So see you there in Beijing Jasmine Restaurant. Thank you.