[Latingp] ODG: ODG: Variants -- Case for Considering Upper Case

Bill Jouris bill.jouris at insidethestack.com
Mon Jul 9 17:11:12 UTC 2018


The problem is that what is written (as opposed to what is registered) can be in mixed case.  So what the *user* sees -- in an email or a document or on a website -- may be in any mix of cases.  No matter what the mix of cases, the link will always go to the same place. 

The "crime" is not by the user, but by the person writing the link -- and doing it in a way that they have done it for decades.  I have seen ICANN's website done as both icann.org and ICANN.org.  I see companies, especially those with multi-word names, capitalize the first letter in each word: USBank.com for example.  It may be regretible that this has become a common practice, but that's the long-standing reality out there.

And there is no "punishment" available.  The user, after all, is typically not the one who created the link in the document.  What the variant rules can do is keep someone who does not own the original domain from creating something that the user will see as the same.  Thus allowing him to scam users. 

For example, suppose we decide that a Cyrillic Small Letter Em (м codepoint 043C) is NOT a variant of a Latin Small Letter M (m codepoint 006D).  Then it is possible to create a (Cyrillic) TLD of .сом, because the last letter is visibly "different" from that in .com.  Which, in turn, means that the owner of every .com domain in the world will be faced with a choice: 
- register his domain name again, in the new TLD 
- let someone else register his domain name there, and live with the possibility that his customers will find themselves going somewhere else. 
The first option doubles his expense -- great for the companies which sell domain name registrations, but not for the user community.  Not to mention the possibility that the company simply doesn't realize the problem exists until it is too late -- most companies do not routinely keep track of new TLDs being created.  And security problems involved in the latter situation are obvious. 

It isn't particularly hard to write variant rules which will stop that happening.  There are a handful of Cyrillic letters, and a couple of Greek letters, where the lower case looks like a Latin upper case letter.  We just include them in our list of variants, and the problem doesn't arise.  It's not something that will take us any significant amount of time to do as we go thru our process . . . once we determine that it is appropriate to do so.

 Bill Jouris
Inside Products
bill.jouris at insidethestack.com
831-659-8360
925-855-9512 (direct)

      From: Mirjana Tasić <Mirjana.Tasic at rnids.rs>
 To: Michael Bauland <Michael.Bauland at knipp.de>; "latingp at icann.org" <latingp at icann.org> 
 Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 6:16 AM
 Subject: [Latingp] ODG: ODG: Variants -- Case for Considering Upper Case
   
Dear all, 

Now I understand the point. My opinion that such cases cannot be prevented by developing any variants rules. This is the crime and should be punished accordingly.

Regrds Mirjana

-----Originalna poruka-----
Od: Latingp <latingp-bounces at icann.org> U ime Michael Bauland
Poslato: Monday, July 9, 2018 15:02
Za: latingp at icann.org
Tema: Re: [Latingp] ODG: Variants -- Case for Considering Upper Case

Dear Mirjana,


On 09.07.2018 14:22, Mirjana Tasić wrote:

> Dear Bill,
> 
>  
> 
> I am a little bit confused with this discussion. I cannot remember 
> that I have ever seen the domain name written in uppercase. May be it 
> is the result of not paying attention to such cases.   Could you 
> please give me some examples of  ASCII domains written and registered  in uppercase?

you do not *register* domains in upper or lower case. The domain name is always case insensitive. You can simply try this out yourself.
If you go to
http://icann.org
or
http://Icann.oRg

It's all the same. Therefore you don't know, if some company simply always publishes its internet address in capital letters. Or mixed if they want to be very cool/hip/modern, whatever. ;-)

Therefore domain names can look the same, although they are different.

Cheers,

Michael

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