ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Fw: IIC Comment -- some concerns about getting IDNs right

  • To: iic-consultation@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Fw: IIC Comment -- some concerns about getting IDNs right
  • From: Andrew Mack <amack@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 07:04:21 -0700 (PDT)


During the
earlier comment period I expressed my concern with ICANN’s claim that it had
sufficiently dealt with two issues I think are crucial for the future of the
organization – the issue of IDN rollout and the issue of non-OECD
representation.  And as I said at that
time, while I believe some progress has been made, I remain convinced that on
both counts more progress should be made before ICANN ends its current
oversight relationships with the Department of Commerce.

I attended
the recent Paris meeting (and speaking now specifically from a small business
point of view, as a small business owner focused on international business), I
was especially interested in the issue of IDNs.  Some of what I saw in Paris, 
however, led me to believe that ICANN may
have – unintentionally, I am sure – created a situation which could create real
difficulty in the next phase of the development of the Internet.

While in
Paris I attended the ccTLD meetings, and learned in detail about plans for the
fast-track rollout of IDN ccTLDs.  A
welcome move.  However, while I would not
recommend that we slow down the IDN ccTLD process at all, I am very concerned
that the much more popularly-used IDN gTLDs – the Chinese or Arabic or Cyrillic
versions of .org, .com, .edu and .net, for example – were not included in the
fast track.  

limiting the “fast track” to the cc space, I fear we could very well find 
ourselves in
a situation in which, for a number of years, IDN ccTLDs will in essence be the
only way to reach these new markets.  Simply
put, I feel this would be bad for both users and businesses on the web for a
number of reasons.  

First, I am thinking
about the cost implications for small businesses if this occurs.  Many of my 
colleagues and partners have
businesses on the web they would like to expand into the IDN space.  As small 
businesses, they are honestly alarmed
at the time and financial implications of having, for example, to register in 
many IDN ccTLDs that use Cyrillic characters, or the more than 10 cc’s that use 
Arabic script -- each with its own protocols and procedures – in order to 
defend their brands... instead of having the ability to compete for
their brands in the IDN equivalent of .net, or .biz or .com (which many of them
would rather do).

Second, I am
concerned about the additional power this will give Governments in the near
term – both in the business arena and in the academic/scientific space, where
information sharing is essential but where there is real question about the
openness of Governments over issues of human rights and the like.  ICANN is 
making the argument for “independence”
in part based on its ability to represent the core founding principles, one of
which is maintaining the close connection to the private sector in
operations.  The IDN rollout plan seems
to call that relationship into question somewhat by favoring IDN ccTLDs.

Finally, in
Paris I heard nothing that would suggest (let alone guarantee) that the most
popular, most used and most business-critical IDN gTLDs would be considered
first -- if they were considered as part of the “slow track” for IDN gTLDs.  
This simply makes no sense to ICANN as a
public servant or as a promoter of growth on the web.  People know and want to 
use certain
destinations on the web – I would like the ability to bid for my IDN gTLD, for
example – and ICANN should factor in these needs if our goal is really to
support the Internet community.

Based on
these concerns, I must stick with my earlier position.  I applaud some 
significant effort that ICANN
has made on its way to more autonomy, but I don't think it makes sense to end 
existing relationship with DOC early given the many unanswered questions that
remain with the IDN process.  

Thank you. 

Andrew MackPrincipal, AMGlobal Consulting
Andrew A. Mack 
AMGlobal Consulting

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy