Browser IDN display policy: opinions sought

John C Klensin klensin at
Mon Dec 12 15:46:50 CET 2011

--On Monday, December 12, 2011 13:24 +0100 Patrik Fältström
<patrik at> wrote:

> On 12 dec 2011, at 13:06, Gervase Markham wrote:
>> On 10/12/11 16:35, Patrik Fältström wrote:
>>> Let me emphasize that what John writes here is extremely
>>> important. If you have the slightest opinion of what
>>> "confusing" implies, and what implications approval of "too
>>> similar" TLDs might have, specifically cross scripts, you
>>> should let ICANN know.
>>> Now.
>> How? Hopefully this is the right channel.
> By contacting ICANN. That you communicate in the IETF does not
> matter.

Let me say that more strongly.  Fortunately or unfortunately,
one of the things ICANN seems to do best in recent years is
denial.  If a staff member complains about something that is not
in line with current policy and explains why it is important, he
or she can be answered with "policy matter that has to come
through the bottom-up public process and staff cannot originate
such processes" (or she or he can be forced out or otherwise
punished).  My suggestion, or any other suggestion that ICANN is
responsible for doing anything in the domain space that might
actual restrict the market for names or what can be registered,
is likely to be wildly unpopular in some ICANN quarters and
hence likely to be ignored if that is possible.  And it is
really easy to say "whatever was discussed on an IETF list, or
an internal (even if public) Mozilla list doesn't count because
it isn't part of the ICANN process".
> You can for this specific topic contact Bart Boswinkel
> <bart.boswinkel at>. cc:ed.

For the reasons above, while I think contacting Bart is a fine
idea (and I would welcome his involvement), I think that we
should not try to put the responsibility for this on a single
staff member.  If anything were actually to be done, it will
take rather direct pressure on (voting) Board members in their
capacity as Board members.  

I note that, presumably in the spirit of openness and
transparency, ICANN not longer makes the addresses of Board
members, or even an address for the Board list, available.  The
CEO's address is also no longer easily accessible  Even SSAC's
page says to contact SSAC by sending mail to a named individual,
not to a list that might generate logs (even if private) and/or
tickets.  But I gave you the URL for the Board member list.
Most of those folks are not hard to find and, if you care, you
will find them.   And, as with Bart's address as provided in
Patrik's note and above, a reasonable person might quickly
figure out that most ICANN staff members can be reached using
the FirstName.LastName at convention.


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