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[registrars] ICANN IDN Registry Implementation Committee

Hello All:

Listed below please find a request from Stuart Lynn asking for two registrar
representatives to serve on the ICANN IDN Registry Implementation Committee.
Those interested in serving in this role please make your interests known
via the Registrar Mailing list so that the Executive Committee can get these
people in place as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Michael D. Palage

-----Original Message-----
From: M. Stuart Lynn [mailto:lynn@icann.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 1:30 PM
To: Michael Palage
Cc: Masanobu Katoh
Subject: ICANN IDN Registry Implementation Committee

Dear Mike:

On behalf of Masanobu Katoh, Chair of the ICANN IDN Committee, and myself, I
am writing to invite the ICANN Registrars Constituency to appoint two
representatives to ICANN's new IDN Registry Implementation Committee.  Given
the speed with which IDNA implementation is expected to occur in the major
gTLD registries, the participation of registrar representatives in this
Committee will be of great importance.  As explained below, the Committee
membership is intended for registry- and registrar-level project managers
who are currently working on implementation of IDNA.

    o Purpose of IDN Registry Implementation

In October, the IESG approved the publication of "Internationalizing Domain
Names in Applications" (IDNA) as a standards-track protocol.[1]  The focus
of domain name internationalization efforts will now shift from
standard-setting by the IETF to implementation by the existing TLD
registries that will implement the IDNA protocol at the second-level and

While IDNA is an exciting development for the DNS, it brings with it
significant risks.  The DNS functions well in part to due its simplicity of
design and clarity of documentation;  IDNA represents a new set of
complications that must be well understood and accounted for by implementing
registries.  For example, the IDNA protocol enables the translation of all
Unicode code points into unique ASCII strings.  It has become clear over the
past year that collisions, confusion, and other potentially damaging
side-effects will arise if registration of all arbitrary characters
available in the Unicode encoding system is permitted.  These and other
potential problems cannot be solved at the protocol level;  they must
instead be addressed by registries in their technical implementations and
registration policies.

Because these problems are common to all DNS registries that choose to
implement IDNA, it is essential to have a global forum for registry-level
dialogue, consultation, and exchange of information, open to the registries,
registrars, and technical experts closest to the issue.  Accordingly, in
December the ICANN Board directed me, in consultation with Katoh-san, to
convene a President's IDN Registry Implementation Committee "to consider and
exchange information on ways to resolve the issues associated with
implementation of IDN capabilities in existing top level domains."

The relevant ICANN Board resolutions can be found at:



For the benefit of Internet users everywhere, it is extremely important that
the registries pioneering the implementation of IDNA share information and
experiences with each other, particularly on issues of common concern, such
as the use of character equivalence tables.  See, for example, the proposed
"Internationalized Domain Names Registration and Administration Guideline
for Chinese, Japanese and Korean"

    o Membership

Membership in the IDN Registry Implementation Committee is intended for
those who are directly involved in the implementation of IDNA (such as
registry-level IDN project managers), and several independent IDN technical

There is a tension between keeping the committee as open as possible, and
keeping it small enough to get its work done.  Accordingly, I am advising
registries of the following guidelines.  For gTLD and ccTLD registries, I
invite any registry that is currently working to implement IDNA within the
next six months to nominate someone at the level of a project or technical
manager -- in other words, an individual with actual responsibility for IDNA
implementation.  For the gTLD registrars, I have invited the Registrars
Constituency to name two such individuals from among its member registrars.
And for technical expertise, I have invited several of the IETF architects
of IDNA to join as well.

To provide contiunity and to ensure optimal communications, I have invited
Katoh-san to chair the new IDN Registry Implermentation Committee while he
continues to chair the IDN Committee, and he has graciously agreed to accept
this dual role. He has also requested that I serve on the IDN Registry
Implementation Committee, and I am pleased to do so.

    o Schedule & Methods

The IDN Registry Implementation Committee will begin immediately.  Work will
proceed via mailing list and, if needed, the occasional teleconference.

    o Agenda

I anticipate that the Committee members will begin by sharing information
and plans for registry-level IDN registration and administration policies,
including the use of character equivalence tables (such as the CJK guidlines
cited above) and the exclusion of certain non-language code point ranges.
It is important to emphasize that the committee is not intended to set hard
rules for registries, but rather to facilitate dialogue and information
sharing so that IDNA project managers can educate and learn from each other
and develop common solutions to common problems.

Both Katoh-San and I hope that you can accept this invitation. We would very
much look forward to working with you on these important problems.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Best regards,


[1]  The three standards-track IETF documents comprising IDNA are:
    - P. Fältström, P. Hoffman and A. Costello, "Internationalizing Domain
Names in Applications (IDNA)" (24 October 2002), draft-ietf-idn-idna-14.txt
    - P. Hoffman and M. Blanchet, "Nameprep: A Stringprep Profile for
Internationalized Domain Names" (24 October 2002),
    - A. Costello, "Punycode: A Bootstring encoding of Unicode for IDNA" (24
October 2002), draft-ietf-idn-punycode-03.txt


Stuart Lynn
President and CEO
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: 310-823-9358
Fax: 310-823-8649
Email: lynn@icann.org

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