Internationalized Domain Names

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1 Internationalized Domain Names ICANN Status Report cctld Workshop Dubai, UAE November 20 th -21 st, 2006 By: Baher Esmat Middle East Liaison

2 Agenda What is an Internationalized Domain Name? Need for IDNs IDN Working Groups IDN Polices and Principles ICANN IDN Program Plan IDN Laboratory Test IDNA Protocol Revisions Outreach and Communication

3 What is an IDN? IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name Domain name labels that represent names containing non-host name characters Valid hostname characters are: a-z, 0-9, - (LDH) IDN in general refers to both displayed form (Unicode) and stored form (punycode) of the domain name Example: tld. باهر xn--mgbb2a6f.tld IDN is also sometimes used to refer to other ways of internationalization or localization Keywords, Special searching or directory mechanisms, etc.

4 What is an IDN User Perspective All you need is the name you want to register Registries will supply a list over available characters, usually in Unicode Registries will handle all encodings needed during registration process Example: tld. باهر xn--mgbb2a6f.tld Encodings tools:

5 The Need for IDNs and Internationalization Geographic expansion of the Internet IDNs match needs of increased use by linguistic groups IDNs used for identification of content reflecting linguistic diversity Internationalization is A means to localization Necessary given the global nature of the Internet Global Interoperability Network strength is to interoperate globally Security and stability is primary focus Avoid fragmentation of the Internet

6 IDN Working Groups and Activities ICANN President's Advisory Committee for IDNs Formed on 23 November 2005 Initially tasked with IDN TLD Technical Challenges IDN TLD Registries ccnso and gtld reps focused on IDN Guidelines IETF and IAB Browser Community GNSO, ccnso, GAC, ALAC Regional Model Initiatives

7 User Confusion and Spoofing Issues IDNs expanding risk of known problems Many characters can be confused with others Problem exists in ASCII as well Digit 1 and lower-case l Digit 0 and upper-case O IDNs increasing the character collection From 64 in ASCII (LDH) To tens of thousands in Unicode (nameprep) This kind of confusion create opportunities for user mistakes and fraud

8 Examples for Visual Confusion Well-known example: pаypal.com Second character is U+0430, Cyrillic small a Looks like Roman/ASCII a Would have been prevented by one label, one script rule Another example: Russian cctld is.ru Cyrillic r and u is: py.py (in latin) is cctld for Paraguay Note: Russia did not ask for.py, this is just an example Process needed to determine labels matching cctlds

9 Revision of IDN Guidelines IDN TLD Working Group ccnso and gtld Constituency membership Multiple meetings during and in-between ICANN meetings Created version 2.0, 2.1, and pending further revisions Provide regular updates to the Presidents IDN Advisory Committee Version 1.0 Commitment by.cn,.jp,.tw,.info, and.org Further authorized and implemented by.info,.museum,.biz,.org,.name,.com and.net Version 2.0 Opened for script based implementation in addition to language based No mixing of scripts within labels Version 2.1 Included the provision in relation to the UseSTD3ASCIIRules flag Future Version: Focus on IDN TLD principles & BCP practices to avoid further confusion between TLD implementations

10 Some user confusion is being solved by - protocol adjustments - IDN guidelines Remaining user confusion need to be solved by - implementation of adequate registry policies - education of community

11 IDN Policy Development Policy development is run by ccnso, GNSO, GAC Multiple meetings during and in-between ICANN meetings Latest face-to-face GNSO meeting in Amsterdam: IDN policy issues combined with introduction of new gtlds IDN issues report and ToR are available online for comments Proposes joint task force between GNSO, ccnso, GAC to prioritize issues and propose structure for further work Joint meeting planned for Sao Paulo Introduction of new gtlds are focused on: Whether to introduce new gtlds Allocation methods Selection criteria Contractual Conditions

12 Internationalized TLD Principles Global uniqueness and interoperability of the DNS unique and unambiguous domain names URLs and s connect as expected regardless of geographic placement of access Promote Future-Proof solutions Define Unicode characters to be allowed Provides ability for adding new languages, new characters far in the future Avoid or diminish as much as possible user confusion Technical limitations Implementation requirements Registry restricted list and policies User education Promote multi-stakeholder involvement

13 ICANN IDN Program Plan A new program within ICANN IDN Program recently established within ICANN to achieve the possibility to insert internationalized top level labels in the root zone Goals with program includes Enable introduction of internationalized top level labels Respond to increased geographic use of the Internet Maintain global interoperability, security and stability of DNS IDN dedicated staff Existing Operational, Technical, Policy, IANA Staff

14 ICANN IDN Program Plan The Program Plan is comprised of several Projects: Technical tests IDNA protocol revision IDN Guidelines IDN Repository Production deployment Policy developments Outreach and Communication

15 IDN Laboratory Testing: Project Milestones July 2006: Meeting with root-server operators Plan NS and DNAME testing as two parallel running tracks September 2006: ICANN retained Autonomica to perform laboratory test Highly DNS experienced staff Test plans will be made publicly available for replication opportunities October 2006 IDN-PAC agrees on method to select the strings for the laboratory test (hippo18potamus) Set of strings are provided to Autonomica and initial testing are commenced Preliminary tests already performed and while successful, demonstrated that some applications have not implemented IDNA in accordance with the existing protocol standard December 2006 Test results may be provided at the ICANN meeting in Sao Paolo

16 IDN Laboratory Testing Details Autonomica will develop and ICANN will publish the test procedure Plan details will be sufficient so that others may replicate the test ICANN will publish the results received of any other test performed in accordance with the publish test plan The laboratory test plans includes the following: Insertion of NS records into a copy of the root zone Tests performed in closed laboratory environment with a series of systems implemented to replicate as closely as possible the server software of the various root servers. This includes: versions of BIND server software, and use of the most popular DNS resolver software packages No further end-user or application testing is included as the laboratory environment is closed and not accessible from outside Test strings will be delivered by ICANN as coordinated through the IDN-PAC

17 IDN Laboratory Test Strings Normal Unicode-Punycode conversion فرس 18 النهر xn--18-dtd1bdi0h3ask Performance with a 63-character long TLD string.hippo18potamushippo18potamushippo18potamushippo18po Right to left, embedded characters with opposing directional properties Left to right script with sophisticated shaping properties Non-alphabetic script

18 Completed First IDN Laboratory Test First IDN Test Run successfully completed in October letter Top Level Domain Conducted at the.museum IDN lab, in association with Autonomica Preliminary Results Resolver software in test environment worked without problems End-user software showed difference in resolution

19 After a Successful Laboratory Test If Laboratory test provides successful then, idea is to test <example>.<test> in various scripts to: Replicate result in laboratory environment Allow application providers to perform tests This can be done by introducing <.test> in various scripts in the live root Scripts determined in consultation with Internet community Process and test plan determined in coordination with the IDN-PAC Disclaimer: the notion of a live root test need to be discussed further with the IDN-PAC and technical community before it can be realized

20 Proposed Revisions to IDNA Protocol The revision will base the protocol on Unicode 5.0 (containing 64 scripts), the existing protocol is based on Unicode 3.2 (containing 45 scripts) The revision to the protocol will: Potentially increase available blocks of characters Include an easier revision process to accommodate additional scripts in the future Include technical review of protocol functionality The Basic Framework has already been published September 2006 in RFC4690 and discusses many issues: Language specific character issues (same script, different language) Multiple usage of scripts for one language Bi-directional cases (right-to-left scripts) Visually confusing character sets

21 Proposed Revisions to IDNA Protocol Two weeks ago three internet-drafts were published providing suggestions for solutions to the issues raised in RFC4690: An overview with proposed issues and changes for IDNA A suggestion for solving an IDNA problem in right-to-left scripts by revising the stringprep profile An overview of suggested inclusion based IDNA Unicode Codepoints based on Unicode 5.0

22 IDN Outreach and Communication ICANN regional road-trip in Middle East Egypt, UAE, Bahrain and Jordan 8-15 October 2006 Internet Days Forum Stockholm October 2006 Internet Governance Forum, Multilingual Internet workshop Athens 31 October 2006 APTLD meeting with IDN focus 14 November 2006 cctld meeting Dubai November 2006 Sao Paolo ICANN Meeting 2-8 December 2006 IDN Basics, IDN status workshop, various constituencies and working groups has IDN on their agenda RSS feed available for IDN Communications Online Calendar coming soon..

23 Questions???

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