Submitted Proposals

Organization: ICANN
Title :
4. Internationalized Domain Names: Myths and Opportunities
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) provide an important component of a general strategy for making the Internet, and its identifiers, accessible to a broad range of populations, including populations who are not comfortable using the Roman-based writing systems. Despite their importance and the many discussions in the last several years, IDNs are to some extend poorly understood. Some of the discussions have ignored important IDN properties and capabilities, while others have assumed a potential for solving some problems that IDNs cannot provide. IDNs were first standardized and deployed in 2003. In the last several years a number of operational difficulties have been discovered with the IDNA technical standard and associated model. A revision of the standard is being developed in the IETF that will address some of those difficulties but that will involve some marginal changes to possible IDNs and their use. This workshop will review IDNs and how they relate to more traditional domain names. We will explore how those relationships and the characteristics of the domain name system itself create new possibilities for broader Internet accessibility. Finally, we will discuss the effect the proposed standard changes have on additional scripts and mnemonics and on applicability of possible existing registrations.
Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.

Tina Dam, ICANN
  • IETF
  • Representatives involved in efforts currently ongoing to review and solve technical related issues concerning some scripts and languages. There are efforts taking place in local communities and for example in some instances with coordination across language groups that share the same script. Several groups are emerging currently and will be invited, one example of such is the newly formed ASIWG that is focusing on the Arabic script.
  • Representatives in relation to the policy areas involved. These are multistakeholders that are involved in developing policies and processes that are necessary to deploy IDN TLDs. These representatives will be drawn from ccNSO, GNSO, GAC and ALAC, and these supporting organizations and advisory committees are actively developing the mentioned policies.
  • Representatives of the end user community in Asia Pacific (APRALO), a region where there is a huge demand for IDNs.
  • Most of the speakers have been specified and some have confirmed willingness to participate.
  • Chris Disspain, .auDA
  • Hong Xue, APRALO
  • Manal Ismail, Government of Egypt
  • Patrik Fältström, Cisco Systems
  • Ram Mohan, Afilias
Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.

The organizers will include ICANN, ALAC (At-Large Advisory Committee), and APRALO (Asia Pacific Regional At-Large Organization). As can be seen from the speakers proposed above, the organizers are keen to ensure a multistakeholder, and geographic diversity and gender balance for this workshop.
Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
The workshop will explore how the relationships and characteristics of the domain name system itself create new possibilities for broader Internet accessibility and will discuss the effect of the proposed changes on additional scripts and mnemonics and on applicability of possible existing registrations. The workshop will also shed some light on policy and business facets of IDNs and will present the view of end users on how IDNs together with other tools can make access to information on the Internet more convenient.
Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.


The issues of multilingualism, capacity building and ensuring users' access to the Internet are very relevant to Internet Governance. Moreover, and following Paragraph 53) of the Tunis Agenda, the workshop aims to stimulate the dialogue on the introduction of multilingualism in the domain name system of the Internet. The workshop also facilitates the exchange of information and best practices, and expands the dialogue on IDNs among various stakeholders.

List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.
For the past two IGF meetings, ICANN has organized workshops in cooperation with UNESCO and the ITU on multilingualism, covering the broader range in including the technical aspects. This workshop is intended to focus on one specific area, and recent developments, to inform an important part of the multilingual discussion that is specific to the domain name system. Additionally, ICANN has been involved in regional work on IDNs, as well as holding workshops at the three ICANN meetings per year.
Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?
ICANN was part of organizing a workshop at the last two IGF meetings on IDNs in cooperation with the UNESCO and ITU. Yes, reports were submitted.