[APAC-Discuss] Draft ALAC Statement on the Implementation of IDN Variant Top Level Domains

Rinalia Abdul Rahim rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 02:51:27 UTC 2013

Dear IDN Working Group Members and ALAC Colleagues,

In response to the ICANN Board's request for guidance on the implementation
of IDN Variant TLDs as well as the release of the “IDN Variant TLD Program
- Risk Analysis Studies” dated May 2013, Edmon and I have developed a draft
statement for the ALAC's consideration.

Text of the drafted statement is pasted below.

WIKI Page for your comments is located here:

Please try your best to provide your comments via the wiki by June 16th.

Best regards,


 *ALAC Statement on the Implementation of IDN Variant Top Level Domains *

*[Version 10 June 2013]*

The ICANN Board has requested guidance from the community regarding the
implementation of the Recommendations contained within the Report on User
Experience Implications of Active Variant TLDs (
After reviewing the Report as well as the “IDN Variant TLD Program - Risk
Analysis Studies” dated May 2013, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
advises the following:

*Introduce IDN Variant TLDs carefully and implement complementary IDN
policies concurrently *

   - Facilitate the introduction of IDN Variant TLDs carefully so as to
   nurture growth of the IDN market.  The successful implementation of the
   initial set of IDN TLDs and IDN Variant TLDs will create higher visibility
   for IDNs and can be expected to stimulate further demand.
   - The prioritized implementation of IDN new gTLDs must be accompanied
   with the concurrent execution of complementary and enabling policies,
   - Implementation of policies that support the Universal Acceptance of
      - Implementation of IDN Variant TLDs; and
      - Inclusion of IDN variant support in the Trademark Clearinghouse


*Bundle the delegation of TLDs and variant TLDs appropriately*

   - In cases where variants are well defined and understood, and where
   they are essential for the communication needs of user communities, IDN
   Variant TLDs must be delegated together with IDN TLDs to ensure consumer
   trust among the implicated user communities.
   - Concurrently, variant support in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)
   must be included in time to accommodate the delegation of appropriate TLDs
   to address the issues of user confusion as well as effective trademark

*Prepare user communities via dedicated outreach*

   - Release appropriate educational materials and conduct
   awareness-raising initiatives widely on the use and impact of variants on
   different user communities well in advance of IDN Variant TLD delegation.
   - These outreach efforts should target IDN users as well as non-IDN
   users to address any trust issues that they may have.  See the following as
   an example of research findings indicating the need for more education and
   awareness-raising about IDNs in developed economies -

*Demonstrate a strong commitment to multilingualism *

The introduction of IDN Variant TLDs is a policy choice, which requires the
strong commitment of ICANN and the ICANN community to multilingualism.  The
competing perspectives between the technical (conservative) and linguistic
(comprehensive) communities need to be balanced carefully within an
overarching commitment to multilingualism.  A demonstrated commitment to
multilingualism will encourage collaboration between the two communities in
finding workable solutions and common ground in introducing IDN Variant
TLDs without undermining the security and stability of the Domain Name

*Expedite the implementation of the Root LGR process *

   - Expedite the implementation of the Label Generation Rules (LGR)
   process for the Root Zone to address the risks that have been identified in
   the “IDN Variant TLD Program - Risk Analysis Studies.”
   - Ensure that lack of expertise is not a reason for delaying or
   prolonging the implementation of the process.  The inadequate supply and
   availability of the right kind of experts have been identified as a
   possible bottleneck for the Root LGR process.  We note that a call for
   subject matter experts has been issued on 6 June 2013.  Should the response
   prove to be inadequate, measures would be required to seek expertise
   outside of the ICANN community.
   - Expedite the delivery of the Han script ruleset in the Root LGR
   process.  Among all the writing systems studied by ICANN in the IDN Variant
   Issues Project* (*VIP), the Han script variants are the most well
   defined and understood.  ICANN experts (Andrew Sullivan and Asmus Freytag)
   concurred during the ICANN 46th Meeting in Beijing that the Han script
   is possibly the only exception in this regard.


*Involve the community in the governance of the Root LGR Process*

Involve the ICANN community (Supporting Organizations and Advisory
Committee) in the implementation planning and delivery of IDN Variant TLDs
as well as in the governance oversight of the Label Generation Rules (LGR)
for the Root Zone process, which is crucial for deriving a comprehensive
and consistent treatment for variants across the board.  In particular,

   - Ensure that the LGR process is accountable and transparent.
   - Address its weaknesses (i.e., the lack of a review and appeals
   process, insufficient supply and availability of experts as well as
   mechanisms for avoiding capture)
   - Address the weaknesses of the ICANN Public Comments process (a core
   feedback mechanism for the LGR process) to enable a more open and
   meaningful stakeholder participation.

The ALAC’s advice as indicated above is consistent with the following
statements that we have issued regarding IDNs and IDN Variants:

   - ALAC Statement on Trademark Clearinghouse and IDN Variants
   - ALAC Statement on IDN Variant TLD Program – Interim Report Examining
   the User Experience Implications of Active Variant
   - ALAC Statement on the IDN Variant TLD Program – Procedure to Develop
   and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of
   IDNA Labels<https://community.icann.org/display/alacdocs/ALAC+Read+Only+Document+Store>-
Second Public Comment Draft
   - ALAC Statement on the IDN Variant TLD Program – Procedure to Develop
   and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of
   IDNA Labels<https://community.icann.org/download/attachments/2261148/ALAC+Statement+on+the+Procedure+to+Develop+and+Maintain+the+LGR+for+the+Root+Zone+in+Respect+of+IDNA+Labels.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1359074542000>
   - ALAC Statement on the Draft Recommendations Overall Policy for the
   Selection of IDN ccTLD
   - ALAC Statement on the IDN Prioritization in the New gTLD Program
   Targeted at the ICANN
   - ALAC Statement on the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Variant
   Issues Project (VIP) Proposed Project Plan for Next


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