WG Review: Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (Revised) (idnabis)

Stephane Bortzmeyer bortzmeyer at nic.fr
Tue Apr 8 12:20:35 CEST 2008

On Wed, Apr 02, 2008 at 04:00:01PM -0700,
 IESG Secretary <iesg-secretary at ietf.org> wrote 
 a message of 159 lines which said:

>   - Separate requirements for valid IDNs at registration time
> (insertion of names into DNS zone files), vs. at resolution time
> (looking up those names)

There was and there still is no reason to force this specific
architecture into the WG charter. This is a technical choice (but with
policy consequences) to be decided later. 

The problem with this approach is that changing the registration rules
can be done at a single point, the registry, but changing the
resolution rules is impossible - you cannot update all the resolvers -
so, in practice, classification mistakes would be impossible to
fix. Current discussions on on the idnabis mailing list clearly show
that it is impossible to be right on every character.

> This working group will be providing extended public review of the
> output of a design team that has been working on improvement of the
> IDNA specifications.

The design team worked on questionable assumptions ("registries would
do anything for money", as said by John Klensin at the BoF in
Philadelphia) and I disagree with labelling its whole work as
> There are a variety of generally unsolvable problems, notably the
> problem of characters that are confusingly similar in appearance
> (often known as the "phishing" problem) that are not specifically
> part of the scope of the WG although some of the preliminary results
> of the design team suggest that the improvements contemplated in the
> specifications might mitigate some of the ways in which the current
> IDNA specifications can be abused for phishing purposes.

This whole paragraph is self-contradictory. The part starting with
"although some of the preliminary results" should be removed.

> Sep 08: WG Last Call on WG document set
> Nov 08: IETF Last Call on WG document set

Unrealistic, unless you consider that the work is already done and
that IETF should accept it "as is".
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