language question re: IDNs

Andrew Sullivan ajs at
Wed Oct 7 15:51:47 CEST 2009

On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 02:51:41PM +0200, Cary Karp wrote:
> That's a very reasonable distinction in itself and surely nice to have 
> waiting to put forward in any context where it might be useful. Again FWIW 
> -- the ICANN w.g. really is focusing on homoglyphic identity (without any 
> intention of exporting the terminology), and IDNA is explicitly restricted 
> to labels and not entire names.

But I think Debbie has a point that the human issue, which is surely
what the "homoglyphic identity" is supposed to solve, functions at the
level of the label, and not the glyphs.

To use an example she introduced, cl and d can be homomorphic.  The
important thing is context.  The homomorphism is important for
instance, due to the confusion that could be sown by someone phishing
on the label 'malwareclean'.  It wouldn't matter in the case of the
label '46ghcl55txx', because nobody is going to misread the latter
label in a way that makes the confusion more pronounced (at least, I
suspect that's right).


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at
Shinkuro, Inc.

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