[UA-discuss] Fw: Re: IDN Implementation Guidelines [RE: Re : And now about phishing...]

ajay at data.in ajay at data.in
Sun Apr 23 04:24:12 UTC 2017

Take a look at this paragraph. Can you read what it says? All the letters have been jumbled (mixed). Only the first and last letter of ecah word is in the right place:

I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt!
Try out with friends. If they can that too.

Some clue from above ?

On 23-Apr-2017, 00:25:54
Asmus Freytag 'asmusf at ix.netcom.com' wrote:

On 4/22/2017 9:16 AM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 01:32:08PM +0000, nalini.elkins at insidethestack.com (mailto:nalini.elkins at insidethestack.com) wrote>
> >
> > For example, you may wish to see the following permutations which have already been obtained. (And, it appears not by Apple) www.applé.com (http://www.appl%C3%A9.com) www.xn--appl-epa.com (http://www.xn--appl-epa.com) www.xn--appl-epa.com (http://www.xn--appl-epa.com) www.applêcom (http://www.appl%C3%AA.com) www.xn--appl-jpa.com (http://www.xn--appl-jpa.com) www.xn--appl-jpa.com (http://www.xn--appl-jpa.com) www.applė.com (http://www.appl%C4%97.com) www.xn--appl-yva.com (http://www.xn--appl-yva.com) www.xn--appl-yva.com (http://www.xn--appl-yva.com) www.applę.com (http://www.appl%C4%99.com) www.xn--appl-8va.com (http://www.xn--appl-8va.com) www.xn--appl-8va.com (http://www.xn--appl-8va.com)
> Do you think that those qualify as "homographs"? I suppose they might, as might àpple.com and so on, but these at least don't seem to me to be any different than app1e.com, which we decided long ago was Apple's problem and nobody else's.

The claim that letters with diacritics are homoglyphs of the undecorated letters is

rather tenuous. There are some words where diacritics are optional in some languages,

and for those words, even a native reader may not notice the difference in spelling,

but that is not all that different from "color" vs. "colour".

A slightly stronger case might be made that some diacritics are not reliably

distinguished from each other. Cedilla and comma below come to mind. There are

plenty of examples, mostly in print, that show the use of one in place of the other,

even if the language ostensibly calls for a specific one and not the other. Their shapes

are not so different that the substitution would always be jarring.

Extending that, it's generally the diacritics below that are less readily distinguished

from each other; partially that's because there's less real estate in the glyph (and the

bottom of the line may be clipped by the following line of text if the spacing is too


The real issue with diacritics is when multiple ones are applied to a base letter.

While they are supposed to stack neatly outward in the order that they are entered,

there isn't room enough at the bottom of the glyph to show that reliably. Also,

sometimes diacritics "overprint" instead of stacking.

From a perspective of making IDNs universally acceptable, registries should be

encouraged to restrict the use of dual diacritics unless central to the writing system,

as it is for Vietnamese. The Unicode principle of allowing all combinations is fine

for general texts (or more likely, academic texts), but misplaced for identifiers.

> This is quite different to the case of true homoglyphs of the sort that Asmus is talking about, where the very same glyph is normally used in two different scripts such that nobody would be able to tell the difference One maybe could argue that "аррӏе" is pure homoglyphs (0430,0440,0440,04CF, 0435), but I think it's tough to argue for it.

"арр" / "app" or "аре" / "ape" would be true homographs (always identical),

but the palochka (04CF - "ӏ") is at best a near homoglyph. It renders

identical in many fonts, even though it can be rather distinct in

others (especially certain console fonts).

Since those console fonts are a minority, the Palochka should probably be treated

conservatively as a homoglyph.

> Remember, the IDNA rules are really _quite_ restrictive, and if registries also require "same script per label" those restrictions catch an _awful_ lot of corner cases (that was the outcome of the "paypal" controversy some time ago). If you want to argue that policy should be different, that's fine, but it seems to me to require some PDP within ICANN. Note that ICANN is probably going to propose some rules for variant handling, and combined with the LGR stuff that is working its way through the system we may find an awful lot of stuff is blocked.

Actually, you can block "an awful lot" and yet not affect the universe of valid

labels very much.

A case in point is Ethiopic, which for linguistic reasons I won't go into, is best

handled by treating a number of code points internal to the script as variants of

each other (making them mutually exclusive if they occur as alternates in otherwise

identical labels).

The linguistic reasons apply, strictly speaking, only to one of the languages (albeit

the most prominent one). The concern was raised how that would interfere with

the ability to register labels in other languages.

For the TLD IDN project we ran an analysis over a corpus of unique words, separated

by language. We found that the reduction in available labels was much less than

one might have guessed from the considerable number of variants. The reductions

came to a few percent, much less than the effect of the languages sharing words

that happened to be spelled the same (e.g. like English/French "but" or Englis/German


The main reason for this is that legitimate labels would tend to contain at least one

distinct code point, enough to prevent the label from being blocked. (Just as

"dapple" is no longer a homograph of any Cyrillic string even if "apple" is.)

The other reason is many strings that would otherwise be homographs do not

make sense in the other context, and therefore are much less likely to be used for

legitimate labels (and only used for phishing).

Just like the string "аррӏе" (using Cyrillic code points) makes no sense to anyone

using a language written in Cyrillic.

For short labels, acronyms etc. might increase the set of legitimate labels beyond

the word analysis we were doing, but it would be instructive to run such experiments

on Latin/Cyrillic corpora assuming the widest definition of homoglyph variants;

if those corpora are not limited to dictionary words, but include names, brands

and acronyms, that would yield a pretty reliable estimate.

I predict that the overlap will prove smaller than feared, for the same reasons

that we found for Ethiopic, some high visibility exceptions notwithstanding.

> In any case, I think our purpose is very badly served by conflating these two different kinds of issues.

Agreed. Our purpose is best served by making careful distinctions among these:

- identical renders same in all fonts and sizes
- near identical may not be perfectly identical but almost
- not reliably distinct may be distinct if shown side by side or in some contexts
- confusingly similar close enough that it can get misidentified - similar everything else that is not clearly distinct
My take is that there is a call for addressing the first two at the level of an LGR

(registry policy) and that the third requires some judgement call on whether it's

more like the first two, or more like the latter two.


> Best regards, A

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