[IDN-WG] ALAC Response to the VIP Proposed Project Plan and Next Steps

Rinalia Abdul Rahim rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 08:25:57 UTC 2012

Dear IDN WG,

We had a webinar today where the VIP Team re-presented their work.  It was
a pity that many of our WG members could not participate.  *They made one
point of clarification regarding the treatment of communities who consider
themselves ready to implement IDN Variants - that it would only happen
after the label generation toolset work is done.   In their project plan
this can only begin mid of FY13. *

ALAC is requested to make its response/comment to the proposed plan before
the end of next week so that the VIP Team can incorporate our input in
their next steps.

Below is my draft attempt at a response (based on my limited understanding)
so that we can meet this deadline.  Note: I draw heavily from Edmon's
previous drafts before and after Costa Rica, with tweaks and adjustments
based on the clarification made during today's webinar.

1. The issue on COST requires more content and justification - Tijani,
perhaps you have some ideas.  Otherwise, we might have to drop this
2. Would be good if reference to communities who are ready to implement IDN
Variants could be expanded beyond the Chinese case if they are available -
Cheryl, any thoughts?

Next Steps:
1. Staff - pls upload to a wikipage.
2. Edmon - pls check overall content.
3. Other WG members - please contribute.

Note: I have not proofread this draft.



 [Draft] ALAC Response to the VIP Proposed Project Plan for Next Steps

*Acknowledgement of VIP Team Achievement*

The ALAC congratulates the IDN VIP team upon the successful completion of
the case study reports and the final integrated report.  We also wish to
record our appreciation for the outreach efforts of the VIP Team aimed at
enhancing the community’s understanding about the outcome of its work to
date as well as the thinking/framework that guided its work and the
processes entailed.

*Significance of IDNs and Implications on Future Work of the VIP Team*

The ALAC reiterates its continued recognition of the significance and
importance of IDNs, including IDN TLDs in enhancing diversity and embracing
multilingualism on the Internet.  We believe that every culture and every
language is unique and that the implementation of IDN and IDN Variants
would serve to make the Internet more inclusive and representative of the
world that we live in.

Given the importance of the work, the ALAC calls on the VIP Team to ensure
that the conduct of its future work is accountable, transparent and does
not duplicate work that has or is being done within or without the ICANN
community.  Towards this end, we urge the VIP Team to continuously inform
the community on its work and progress, and to draw synergize wherever
possible by leveraging on the work and expertise of the wider Internet

The ALAC is pleased with the VIP Team’s interest in engaging the wider
Internet community, which the Team expressed during the ICANN meeting Costa
Rica in March 2012.  In doing so, We request that the VIP Team maintain a
high level of transparency and clarify the project basis for engaging
consultants vs. community volunteers vs. ICANN staff.

*Comments on the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) Variant Issues
Project (VIP) Proposed Project Plan *


The approach taken by the VIP Team is a standardized, universal and
comprehensive one, which has merit in that it takes into consideration
aspects of fairness and security.  The approach hinges crucially upon the
expectation that it is possible to develop a comprehensive codepoint
repertoire and label generation rule-set within a specific timeframe.  The
VIP Team has been careful to clarify to the ALAC during a webinar on 11
April 2012 that until the codepoint repertoire and label-generation
rule-set are complete, the implementation of any IDN Variant would not be
considered regardless of the level of community readiness.

The ALAC concern regarding the VIP Team’s approach is as follows:

1.     The standardized is contrary to the community consensus on
appropriate approaches to the IDN Variant issues, which are highly diverse.
A standardized approach also discriminates against communities who consider
themselves ready to implement IDN Variants.

2.     Assuming that it is possible to develop a comprehensive codepoint
repertoire and label generation rule-set within the period specified in the
proposed project plan, the VIP Team will only be ready to work with
communities who can demonstrate that they are ready to implement IDN
Variants by the middle of Fiscal Year 2013.

3.     The process, timing and criteria for communities to demonstrate
their readiness to implement IDN variants are not addressed.  This set of
information would serve as an invaluable guide for communities regardless
of whether they are early entrants or late entrants to IDN Variant

The ALAC recommends the following:

1.     Adopt an inclusive multistakeholder bottom-up approach to codepoint
repertoire development that is consistent with the ICANN IDN Guidelines and
relies on the community consensus in identifying and determining codepoints
by language/script or groups of languages/scripts.

2.     Develop a framework based on the findings of the integrated report
that would serve as a checklist/guide for language communities to develop
their IDN Variant TLD policy and or implementation plan.  Such a checklist
would include aspects that include codepoint repertoire, codepoint overlap,
label generation ruleset, types and states of variants, etc.

3.     Clarify the process, timing and criteria for engaging with
communities who consider themselves ready to implement IDN Variants.  In
addition engage the ICANN channels for reaching out to various language
communities to raise their awareness of these considerations.


The ALAC would appreciate an elaboration on the financial basis of the
proposed project.


The ALAC understands and appreciates that security risk considerations are
paramount. The introduction of new technological advancement however,
requires balancing risk considerations with benefits to be derived.  The
demand for IDN Variants and the findings of the VIP case study reports
indicate that the benefits of implementing IDN Variant TLDs out-weigh the

*Way Forward*

Given that the technical community, including the IETF and the IAB, has
iterated that the issue of IDN Variants cannot be solved with a technical
solution based on current DNS standards, the ALAC agrees with the view
that, in the immediate term, the implementation of IDN Variant TLDs should
be focused on:

1.     The engagement of communities in developing codepoint repertoire and
label generation rule-set.

2.     The development of a process, timeline and criteria for working with
communities who are ready to implement IDN Variants.

3.     The development of a framework that guides language communities in
developing their IDN Variant policy and implementation plan.

More information about the IDN-WG mailing list