Re: [gnso-idn-wg] MP3 recording link for the GNSO IDN -wg teleconference 27 February 2007
Thanks for the email. No need to be so formal, calling me by my family name Tan, just call me, Tin Wee, that's the given name. Just one of those convention things. See http://www.apng.org/old/namecard/name-convention1.8.html
> I tend to think that the latter scenario is easier - at least in the > short term - as the fastest way to set up a new gTLD is probably to use > an existing TLD service provider (either gTLD or ccTLD) . If the TLD is > successful then the funds earnt could be used to build infrastructure > within the poorer country.
So even though what you say is not being offensive, or what you say is not even basically wrong, it does open up all the questions about expection and issues I want to raise below. So I am not responding to you directly so much as to being reminded use the very good points you made (which is pretty widespread thinking amongst many of us) to explain my concerns so that we won't end up with groupthink.
I have discussed this with Adam Peake who has advised me as such: Policy must be designed to allow for local choice that meets the needs and wishes of the language community concerned. So a flexible policy, e.g. - minimum technical standards (a new IDN TLD that doesn't work won't help anyone), - submission fee reasonable for a fighting chance amongst "poorer country" operators, e.g. USD less than 10,000 up front pegged to GDP or PPP for the country of registration or incorporation or origin (so it won't be prohibitive for the poorer nations, - fees that are either weighted to GDP (etc, many measures for this) etc.etc are critical to the success of the IDN TLD roll-out.
So I believe that the success of an IDN implementation by ICANN will be measured by both process and outcome. And the jury will not just be Westernised people looking at it, but judged also through the eyes of the man on the bus in Urumqi, or the haunting green eyes of the Afghan girl in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan. Will IDNs work for them? And who is it that made it work for them? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/03/0311_020312_sharbat.html
Expectation 1. Overdue IDN and escalated expectations ----------------------------------------- IDNs used to be, in 1998, an urgent concern that domain names in local languages be made available to local communities as soon as possible. A decade later, the stakes and expectations have risen.
The expectation is no longer just that of getting IDNs out as fast as we can, or as efficiently as we can. Those who needed IDNs have already carried out work-arounds, studied English in the past ten years and figured out how to work the Internet in ASCII. It is therefore a given, that IDNs must be rolled out expeditiously, and it has been so for the past 10 years. Now, more is expected.
Expectation 2: If IDNs can be launched in my language/script for my people to use, by my people, it will be a successful launch. --------- Let's say, few people outside of Myanmar (Burma) speak Burmese http://www.omniglot.com/writing/burmese.htm or use its scripts, perhaps, emigrants or exiles in USA, or in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Thailand or southern China.
Suppose if the Myanmar govt wished to set up their .BURMESE TLD, almost all of the infrastructure might be operated out of a "poorer" country, run for their people by their people (or their military junta in this case). And if trade and the Internet is limited, relatively speaking, compared with the rest of the ASEAN countries, demand for .BURMESE IDN domain names may not be that high. See http://www.omniglot.com/writing/burmese.htm http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=mya Therefore, if the Myanmar government can run a .BURMESE TLD, IDN implementation would have been a success. It may help open up the Internet into a country which is now run by a military junta despite democratic elections. (whether the Internet will be censored or not is another question which we won't go into).
Expectation 3: that new operators appear and the TLD operations are not monopolised by a select few and that there is geographical diversity in where operators come from (as per GAC) ---------------------- If .TAMIL TLDs are requested by the Tamil diaspora, one can conceive of the estimated 35,000 of Tamilians in USA having the means of operating a .TAMIL TLDs, many of them working for IT companies based in California. But if despite this, a company based in Tamil Nadu state in India were to win the bid to run the TLD and run it with technical proficiency, then the folks doing the IDN implementation and policies must have been doing something seriously right.
But if all of them end up being run by Afilias or Verisign or whoever perceived to be from the West, then, one might have some doubts about the processes, policies and preferences of the system (just citing illustrative examples and not intended to sound offensive to any of the cited parties), and arising from taking the easiest way out of a tricky situation.
But having said this, I do accept that it does make a lot of sense for the fastest deployments to involve experienced and established existing TLD operators to run the IDN TLDs; However for them to be favoured in this sensitive day and age, it might invite the outrage of those who feel the humiliation at the condescension of such policies. I remember the days in 1998 of helping APNIC CEO Paul Wilson to explain to unhappy China officials that the fact that they are not issued enough IP addresses despite their huge population was not because of the competence issue but that procedures of APNIC have to be followed, and if there is any competence gap, APNIC will run courses and workshops to educate IP address applicants on how to get themselves address blocks that they need. What we need to see is for the largesse of ICANN to be spent on educating other people how to get themselves a successful bid of a registry or registrar licence. This was what APNIC did and is still doing.
An authority that holds supreme power over resources that people need, has to engage and be seen to engage in outreach and assistance and affirmative action that will help the same people access these resources, or it will erode that very legitimacy that maintains its authority.
an existing TLD service provider (either gTLD or ccTLD) . If the TLD is successful then the funds earnt could be used to build infrastructure within the poorer country
I note that the infrastructure for many ccTLDs are not currently operated within the Country associated with the ccTLD.
Can you clarify what you intend by the first sentence above. For example, are you envisaging success menas that all the
These first baby steps, always the most difficult, would probably be the most crucial ones in the first two decades of the global information revolution as we strive to build an equitable global information infrastructure that is unprecedented in the history of mankind.
bestrgds tin wee
Bruce Tonkin wrote: