Browser IDN display policy: opinions sought

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at
Wed Dec 14 11:24:51 CET 2011

Hello John, others,

(sorry this mail took so long)

On 2011/12/11 0:28, John C Klensin wrote:

> I note that you say "should be able to assume".  It seems to me
> that is correct.  It also keeps you out of this wagon I'm riding
> to the nut house :-)
> As to how realistic that assumption is, you might consider:

Points below taken. My assumption was mainly based on the fact that even 
if we get to a few thousand TLDs, these are not handed out automatically 
like second- and third-level domains. If they get announced in any way, 
then there's a possibility for current holders to complain. As an 
example, I couldn't imagine that Verisign would be happy with somebody 
trying to get .СОМ (the visual equivalent of .COM in Cyrillic).

> (1) ICANN's Board apparently (minutes have not yet been posted)
> passed a resolution on Thursday exempting IDN variations on .EU
> from review for visual spoofing and other forms of
> confusability.   An optimist would assume that is a special
> case, never to be repeated, and that EU itself will be careful
> to avoid potentially-confusing strings even if doing so results
> in unnatural translations.  A pessimist would assume that anyone
> with sufficient power and leverage can get such an exemption and
> that one should be careful about what protections one assumes
> will come from that direction.

I sometimes like to thing through concrete examples. Some replies seemed 
to assume that this was about what is going to happen on the second 
level. But the way I understand your description, it seems to be about 
variations of .EU itself (please correct me if I'm wrong). In that case, 
I assume the EU is mostly interested in Greek (for Greece) and Cyrillic 
(for Bulgaria).

Looking at pages such as,, and, it 
seems that the Greek version of .EU would be .ΕΕ, and the 
Cyrillic/Slavic version would be .ЕС. Now if we go to IANA, we find that
.ec is Ecuador (, and
.ee is Estonia (
For lower case, the Greek one is .εε, which is way less of a problem, 
but for Cyrillic, it's .ес, which is exactly what we are most worried about.

Now I wonder what Ecuador and Estonia, and their domain name 
administrations, think about this issue (if they ever were asked or 
happened to notice), or what action they have taken, or tried to take.

I also wonder why the Board made such an apparently general exception 
rather than limiting this to one or two very specific cases, or 
attaching some additional conditions.

It wouldn't be too difficult to solve the issue with some negotiation: 
If .ec (Ecuador) agrees to never register Cyrillic domain names, and .ес 
(Cyrillic EU) agrees to never register domain names in Latin, and to not 
register any whole-script confusables in Cyrillic (and they make a deal 
of how to tread Greek), then things might just work out fine.

Regards,   Martin.

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