IDNA 2008 Question Re: "Confusable" Characters in Domain Names

john daw taliskermoon at
Fri Nov 5 15:17:01 CET 2010

JFC Morfin wrote:2.3. The IDNA concept of Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA), asshown by the example above, is an architectural error on the user side. However, thiserror is in operation, so we needed to continue supporting it, to decide and documentan alternative, to protect the Internet from it, and to transition from it.----------I agree with this, and must say that i'm not involved in the architecture of the Internet inany way, as my original email might suggest. €.com, however, ought to be "supported"as an existing domain name that is currently in operation.To make the decision not to support such a domain name is directly in defiance of theprinciples that I *believed* the Internet was founded upon. €.com was probably not agood example to give, however, as it currently has no content on the name.£.com, denoting the British pound, is perhaps a better example as the owner has had aworking site on this domain name since 2004.Regarding this thread, here is a little "food for thought":1. Out of the hundreds of (potential) symbol-based domain names in the world, thereare really only two domains that IDNA 2008 significantly effects, from a commercialstandpoint, €.com and £.com. They are the only two "famous" symbol-based domain names in the world, that are also immediately type-able on many country keyboards.When were the registrant's of those domain names ever informed that "some day soon" they will wake up to find their Internet presence has just been made null and void?... Nowarning, no consultation, nothing.Tina Dam recently stated, publicly, that IDN registrant's have always been made awareof the idea that IDN is a "test bed" and that normal registration rights do not apply. Inpractice, however, this is completely untrue. In fact, over the last nine years or so, ICANNaccredited registrar's have gleefully and dutifully promoted the registration and use ofthe (now) so-called "confusable" domain names with no warnings whatsoever.2. What are the decision-making principles behind the idea that symbol-based domains(symbols are a necessary and legitimate part of every keyboard in the world) shouldsuddenly be deleted from the Internet landscape?... Who has made these decisions, andhow and why have they been able to decide to exclude them from use?Certainly, the often-touted "phishing" argument can't be used, or some romantic notionabout protecting the Internet or it's users. Of course, no such protection is needed, andno user confusion could occur either.3. It is my understanding that the Internet has always had a history of domain anomalies,but why is it exactly that the symbol-based domain name circumstance is treated differentlyfrom e.g. the three single-letter .com domains that were "allowed" to exist back in 1993?4. Certainly, unlike the three anomalies referred to above, there is no big company listedas owner of either €.com or £.com. Would the IETF's actions have changed then if therewere? 5. Regardless of the scenario of three single-letter .com domains that were mysteriouslyallowed to exist in 1993, as vanities for three large companies, by consciously making thedecision to discriminate against symbol-based domain names the UK public is being deniedthe opportunity to (popularly) participate in the debate whether to keep the British pound ordecide upon the European euro, as their currency.Regards,John Daw 		 	   		  
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