[IDN-WG] [APAC-Discuss] [ALAC] The Problem of IDNs

Fouad Bajwa fouadbajwa at gmail.com
Sun May 11 10:50:45 UTC 2014

An important aspect with respect to my region is the computer or
technical literacy of people to actually type in the IDN in the local
language or persian script. It is much easier for persian fluent
countries like Afghanistan and Iran to type in persian script IDNs but
for Pakistan its a different case. Pakistan came out of a colonial
British India and thus had a tradition of using English and Urdu
however, with the adoption of technology and widespread proliferation
of English as a second official language, the majority use English as
the language of communication or Urdu typed in English and thus the
majority of use so far is in English.

I just came back from the Asia Internet Symposium yesterday organized
by ISOC and ISOC Islamabad Chapter in Islamabad where one of the
issues discussed was that the high levels of illiteracy also
contribute to lack of efforts towards digital literacy so in short,
IDNs may be very slow in starting in this part of the world however
they may have strong use in the Persian and Arabic fluent countries
leaving out Pakistan. On the other hand, the situation will also be
different for India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka where they have
local language fluency to a great degree.

The issue of linguistic diversity per se is not in ICANN's agenda but
to increase the level of acceptance of IDNs definitely is. This stands
as a major issue with respect to user rights.

On Sun, May 11, 2014 at 7:10 AM, Hong Xue <hongxueipr at gmail.com> wrote:
> The application and acceptance of IDNs, including IDN TLDs, are, in a large
> part, dependent on the technical development and deployment of the relevant
> language community. The domain name resolution and email application for
> Chinese-character IDN and TLDs are working fine in the big Chinese
> communities . It is true it is not "universally" accepted in any part of
> world, but IDNs are primarily for the use within the relevant language
> community. Of course, ICANN should, firstly, support the language community
> bottom-up initiatives, and secondly, stimulate the universal acceptance in
> the one world one Internet. I'm not sure whether all the IDNs are mature in
> the second phase.
> Hong
> Professor Dr. Hong Xue
> Director of Beijing Normal University Institute for Internet Policy & Law
> (IIPL)
> Co-Director of UNCITRAL-BNU Joint Certificate Program on International
> E-Commerce Law
> http://www.iipl.org.cn/
> 19 Xin Jie Kou Wai Street
> Beijing 100875 China
> On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 2:27 AM, Vanda Scartezini <vanda at uol.com.br> wrote:
>>  I am with Evan in this approach. In my view, if IDN are having problems
>> to reach the users, hence not generating competition, ICANN should engage
>> to see if there is a technical or competitive problem and both are , to my
>> view,  inside the role of ICANN.
>>  My 0.2 cents.
>> Vanda Scartezini
>> Polo Consultores Associados
>> Av. Paulista 1159, cj 1004
>> 01311-200- Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
>> Land Line: +55 11 3266.6253
>> Mobile: + 55 11 98181.1464
>> On 5/9/14, 3:11, "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org> wrote:
>> >On 9 May 2014 00:09, Rinalia Abdul Rahim
>> ><rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com>wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> >> The challenge for ICANN is that it doesn't deal with application
>> >> level problems.
>> >
>> >
>> >Why not?
>> >
>> >ICANN's mandate is to promote acceptance of all TLDs. What's the point of
>> >rolling them out if the public can't access them and registrants can't
>> >maximize use of them?
>> >
>> >Actually, ICANN has already answered that question through the priorities
>> >embedded in the design of the new-gTLD program. If the primary goal of the
>> >expansion is to sell domains -- whether they are useful or not -- then
>> >support of application-level access is an afterthought. Which is exactly
>> >the case. So far within ICANN, "acceptance" has meant "acquisition" and
>> >little more.
>> >
>> >It is IMO *fully* within ICANN's remit to take responsibility for
>> >domain-access issues at every level, including (arguably ESPECIALLY
>> >including) application-level. However, one might not get that impression
>> >given ICANN's moves to reduce the influence of the technical
>> >community<
>> http://atlarge.icann.org/correspondence/correspondence-14mar14-e
>> >n.htm>in
>> >its activities.
>> >
>> >The application-level problems regarding IDNs etc should have been
>> >anticipated and addressed by ICANN long ago. Instead of concentrating all
>> >of its road-show efforts on enticing new TLD applicants, it should have
>> >been also soliciting the global developer community with more than a
>> >half-hearted
>> >marketing
>> >campaign<
>> https://community.icann.org/display/TUA/TLD+Universal+Acceptance+
>> >Home>(that
>> >just started this year!!). Compare the efforts made to promote IPV6
>> >to all levels (by a different corner of ICANN, with the help of ISOC) to
>> >the effort made to implement cross-level support for all TLDs and all
>> >scripts.
>> >
>> >And now, ICANN is reaping what it has(n't) sown.
>> >
>> >The IDN support program should have been done completely independently
>> >from
>> >the general TLD expansion, but instead was wrapped into it and has been
>> >unfortunately affected by that action. IDNs from ccTLD registries have now
>> >been adversely impacted because of the way the gTLD expansion unfolded.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >> Nevertheless, the successful adoption of IDN TLDs is arguably a success
>> >> measure for ICANN's TLD programme, so ICANN has a stake in seeing IDNs
>> >> succeed.
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> >The goal of the gTLD program has been to maximize sales of domains, which
>> >to some eyes sufficiently constitutes adoption. Whether these domains are
>> >actually usable to end-users or useful to information providers has tended
>> >to be an incidental, almost accidental objective. (Were end-users or
>> >registrants ever surveyed in advance to find whether a TLD expansion was
>> >even necessary, let alone their needs from it?) Anyone following the gTLD
>> >program from the At-Large PoV has surely seen this emphasis throughout the
>> >program's development and rollout.
>> >
>> >So "success" depends upon how you measure it. By measures important inside
>> >the ICANN bubble, contracted parties having sold thousands upon thousands
>> >of useless, speculative, defensive and confusing domains constitutes
>> >success. It certainly constitutes revenue.
>> >
>> >It is quite possible that the lack of concern for new gTLDs shown by the
>> >application-development community reflects a broader public indifference
>> >to
>> >the gTLD expansion that ICANN never really sought to discover (let alone
>> >address). And this indifference has affected the uptake in IDNs. One
>> >wonders what kind of remedial measures can make up for such a large
>> >strategic oversight. It may be up to groups like APTLD to take on the
>> >challenge ICANN has not. Or at very least take the leadership role that
>> >has
>> >been lacking to date.
>> >
>> >- Evan
>> >_______________________________________________
>> >IDN-WG mailing list
>> >IDN-WG at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>> >https://atlarge-lists.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/idn-wg
>> >
>> >IDN WG Wiki:
>> >https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/At-Large+IDN+Policy
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Fouad Bajwa
ICT4D and Internet Governance Advisor
My Blog: Internet's Governance: http://internetsgovernance.blogspot.com/
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