Multilinguism

Multilinguism / Most Commented

WSIS: What Is It ‘Really’ All About?

Until a few weeks ago, almost everyone in the Internet governance circus seemed to ignore the very existence of WSIS. After it popped up on international newspapers, however, things have been changing; and suddenly, I have started noticing plenty of negative reactions, on the lines of "we don't need WSIS, we don't need the UN, we don't need governments, we don't need internationalization - just go away from our network". However, I often find that these reactions are based on fundamental misunderstandings of the issues at stake; so please let me offer a different perspective. more

IDNs and IE7 and the Coming Storm

If you're brave, today you can finally download the Internet Explorer 7 public beta. Why should you be interested? Not because the browser's wonderful. It isn't -- initial reports are that it's not ready for prime-time. But you might be interested to know that as of today, users of IE will be able to use internationalized domain names (IDNs). ...Many other browsers are already IDN-capable, including Firefox, but most people in the world use Explorer. Think China, Japan, India. Think most of the world's population... Think of millions of new Internet users working in their own language, customers for commercial goods and services. But think also about intellectual property nightmares, think about phishing, think about whether there's one interoperable Internet, or several Internets acting very weird. These issues and others will become big news when people start using IDNs massively -- and with support from Internet Explorer, that's about to happen. more

Nom-Com Appoints Independent and Diverse Candidates to ICANN Leadership Positions

When 72 candidates vie for 8 positions, making tough choices are inevitable. ICANN's 2005 Nominating Committee (Nom-Com) on Friday announced the selection of a diverse and independent set of nominees for important roles in ICANN, including the Board of Directors, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), the At-Large Advisory Council (ALAC) and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO). more

ICANN’s Tokyo Meeting Provides a Little More Clarity on the New gTLD Program

New gTLDs continue to be a major topic of discussion within ICANN circles, and the regional meeting currently underway in Tokyo has revealed some interesting updates for potential applicants. ICANN's Chief gTLD Registry Liaison, Craig Schwartz, delivered a great presentation on the progress being made behind closed doors at ICANN and provided the attendees with an insight into a couple of key changes that are likely to be seen in the Final Applicant Guidebook. more

ICANN Approves IDNs for China, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka…

A few weeks back I asked Where is China's IDN? ICANN not only answered my question about China, but also about a host of additional countries (and territory) that had applied for fast-track IDNs. Here are the most recent IDN (string evaluation) approvals... more

A Little Flexibility from ICANN and We Might Just Get IDNs… for Everyone

Nobody doubts that some time in the near future there will be Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in Chinese, Russian or Arabic scripts. The Chinese, Russian and Arabic-character-using worlds are large -- encompassing hundreds of millions of current and potential users. They are politically influential blocs, with the ability to demand action in international meetings. And perhaps most importantly, they are -- at least when taken together -- rich. Everybody knows that access on the web in these languages is not a matter of if, but simply a question of when... more

Internationalizing the Internet

One topic does not appear to have a compellingly obvious localization solution in the multi-lingual world, and that is the Domain Name System (DNS). The subtle difference here is that the DNS is the glue that binds all users' language symbols together, and performing localized adaptations to suit local language use needs is not enough. What we need is a means to allow all of these language symbols to be used within the same system, or "internationalization". more

ICANN May Not Be Perfect, But It Is Working

Though I have been critical of some of ICANN's shortcomings, I remain a strong supporter of ICANN's role as a private sector-led, multi-stakeholder global regulator for the Internet's core addressing systems. My recent blog post about my concerns with the communications processes relating to the addition of the first Arabic script IDN ccTLDs has been quoted in an ITU Staff Paper prepared for the ITU Council Working Group on the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held in Geneva tomorrow. This document seems to suggest... more

IDN and Email: The Harsh Reality

There has been a lot of talk about IDNs here and elsewhere but what does the reality look like for a plain user? As a test, I randomly choose 28 domains from Alexa's top 100 Sites and tried to create a user account with the email address [email protected]??.com. The bleak result... more

A Thought About Not-Quite-ASCII Top Level Domains

ICANN has opened their new fast track process for "countries and territories that use languages based on scripts other than Latin" to get domain names that identify the country or territory in its own language. It's not clear to me what the policy is supposed to be for countries whose languages use extended Latin with accents and other marks that aren't in the ASCII set. more

The Inextricable Issue of Internationalized Domain Names

ICANN has embarked on the IDN boat at the same time it wants to introduce DNSSEC and new gTLDs. This promises lots of fun. Or grey hair, depending how you look at it. First is the issue of country code IDNs. The ISO-3166 table, based on two letter codes, is a western convention. Some cultures do not use abbreviations or acronyms. Some do not use a character-based alphabet, but a syllabic one. Hence, the next logical step would be to represent the full country name in local script, rather than a transliteration of the ISO string... Imagine the case of India, where there are 1.652 languages, of which 24 are spoken by more than one million people... more

How to Listen to the Individual Internet User

The recent ICANN meeting in Vancouver touched upon many issues important to ordinary Internet users: privacy in domain name registration; the cost and terms of .com domain names; internationalized domains; introduction of new domain suffixes. But there were few "ordinary Internet users" at the meeting. Few people can roam the globe to keep up with ICANN's travels, and not many more participate in online forums. more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part III

For a book project I decided to extend my interview with Milton Mueller from November 2003 (Part I | Part II). Exclusively for CircleID readers, here's part III that deals with WSIS, WGIG, US-American bias and the Internet Governance Project. "...One good result of the WGIG process is that the involved international community has already moved beyond those cliches. No one is proposing that the UN control the Internet. There is growing consensus that control of the DNS root needs to be internationalized..." more

IDN and Homographs Spoofing

There is a published spoofing attack using homographs IDN. By using a Cyrillic SMALL LETTER A (U+430), Securnia is able to pretend to be http://www.paypal.com/. Actually this is well-documented in RFC 3490 under the Security Consideration: "To help prevent confusion between characters that are visually similar, it is suggested that implementations provide visual indications where a domain name contains multiple scripts. Such mechanisms can also be used to show when a name contains a mixture of simplified and traditional Chinese characters, or to distinguish zero and one from O and l..." more

New gTLDs: Is Internationalism the Solution?

Are international strings such as "club" and "rugby" the key to launch a successful TLD in Round 2 of the ICANN new gTLD program? Are "International TLDs" the key to a successful Registry? That is quite possible as the results of the recent .CLUB launching show that it generated lots of interest in a short period of time. The .CLUB registry is now number 3 on the list of most registered domain names with 37,806 domains registered and .EMAIL is in position 6. more

Industry Updates

Punycode Phishing: Internationalized Domain Names Remain a Threat in 2020

Afilias Thanks Desiree Miloshevic for 12 Years of Service to ISOC

20 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Verisign Announces קום. Domain Names are Available for General Registration

Verisign Announces .コム Domain Names Are Now Available for Anyone to Register

Verisign Launches New gTLDs for the Korean Market, .닷컴 and .닷넷

Verisign Opens Landrush Program Period for .コム Domain Names

Priority Access Program for Verisign’s First IDN New gTLD, .コム

ARI Registry Services Expands Middle East & Africa Operations

Public Interest Registry Offers New Internationalized Domain Names to General Public

Public Interest Registry Announces Sunrise Period for New Internationalized Domain Names

New Chinese “Mobile” Top-Level Domain Now Available

Afilias Welcomes “Dot Chinese Online” and “Dot Chinese Website” Top-Level Domains to the Internet

Afilias Announces Its First Internationalized TLD With the Launch of .MOBILE in Chinese

ARI Registry Services Adds World’s First .Brand to the Internet