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IGF 2020 – Day 11 – WS267 Universal Acceptance of Domain Names and Email Addresses

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> Hello, everyone.  This is Shadrach.  Before the session starts, I would like to remind the panelists and the attendees that the session is being recorded and hosted under the IGF code of conduct and the unit rules and regulations.  So I wish everyone to adhere to these rules and regulations and also enjoy your session.  Thank you.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: To we are in a minute to start.  I think we will start at 11:30 sharply.

Just wait for all the participants to join.

Okay so I suppose we can start now.  So hello to everyone, to our panelists and our participants and our rapporteurs.  I welcome you to the IGF session "Universal Acceptance of Domain Names and Email Addresses" and my name is Maria Kolesnikova, I will be your moderator today.  I will introduce myself and our session scope.

I'm with the coordination center and these are two top domains of the Russian Federation.  And this was one of the first ever delegated by ICANN international top level domains and has worked since 2010.  So now it has about 720,000 registered domain names and about 70% of them are in real use.  So for unique websites or landings or email addresses.  And I must say that we are celebrating tenth anniversary this year, and that's why I'm quite interested in our session.  And because universal acceptance was one of the key topics of this year in Russia, included in the scope of multilingualism, inclusion to Internet and provided the online identity to end users.

So I hope that this session will be very fruitful and we will manage to consider the UA organizations and the focus on different stakeholder groups and try to form what next possible steps are needed to be taken to make universal acceptance a reality.

So I wish to all of our participants and our speakers very fruitful discussion.  And I want to make some short housekeeping remarks.  Our workshop will be divided in two parts.  First part, we will talk about challenges facing achieving UA readiness by different stakeholders and the second part, we will try to find possible solutions how to address them better.

And our remote participants are very welcomed to provide their inputs and thoughts or clarification questions in Q&A sessions which will be available after each of these parts.

You can use the chat for this and microphone in Q&A sessions.

Let me also introduce our online moderator, who will be available through this session, Dennis Tan, through Verisign.  He will take care of our remote participants and help them provide their inputs to be included in our discussions.

And also as a warming up, I suppose you to write in the chat.  Plus, if you are absolutely aware of what universal acceptance is and write your stakeholder group, please, or if not, just put minus.

So we should feel the temperature of our audience.

And to start with our discussion, I want to mention that universal acceptance is one of the aspects that are involved in the inclusion thematic and connected with the future development of multilingualism, cultural diversity and online identity on the Internet.

I must admit that inclusion as well as multilingualism on the Internet thematics are very wide and include many different aspects, but universal acceptance is often considered as maybe more technical problem as it concerns the mailing names and address for support.  It can be social economic benefits.  So we will be focused exactly on universal acceptance issues.

I would like to remind you that ten years have passed since the country codes were delegated and already eight years seeing the new gTLD program has been launched.  So the respective policies and the technical standards like RFCs are mostly in place as well, but why do we still talk about their implementation and practice?  And why these in the technology solutions deployed online is still limited?

So I'm sure that many of you have already heard about chicken and egg problem that is topical for UA‑related discussions.  So those who want to use their preferred language or script for online identity, for example, domain names and email addresses, the domain side cannot find sufficient technical support.  On the other hand, those who develop the tools and the technology support, who support UA, the other side do not see a sufficient demand to prioritizing the online services.  And so today now, the panel, we have plays have both, the domain and ‑‑ the demand and the supply side.  So we will explore this change.  The supply side will be presented by Dr. Ajay Data and Mr. Akinori Maemura.  And the demand side will be presented by Joanna Kulesza and by Walter Wu.

So I will provide shortly introduction to our speakers.  Ajay Data is a chair of universal acceptance steering group.  And he represents USG and Internet service providers in connectivity providers stakeholder groups.

Akinori Maemura is an ICANN board member and he was strongly involved in some technical discussion and policy development inside ICANN, especially in IDN program, as I understand.  And he represents the technical community.

Joanna Kulesza is the vice chair of capacity building at ICANN and she will represent the academia and large stakeholder group.  We have one speaker, Walter Wu, he has replaced the Mr. Payway and Walter Wu is a universal acceptance ambassador in China and also a vice chair of UA local initiative there.

And he also takes the position at Chinese dot mark registry.  He will provide his position on this ‑‑ in this field.

So, we are starting our first part of the discussion of the workshop and I ask Dennis to provide special questions for our audience in the chat.  So you can make your inputs during our discussion as well and Dennis will sum up there in Q&A session.

And I will ask our panelists the following questions.  So why is your stakeholder group involved in universal acceptance issues?  Please explain?  And what particular challenges do you face in UA readiness and how do you solve them currently?  The first speaker is Dr. Ajay Data and as the chair of USG, I ask him to provide some short, very short description of what universal acceptance is because maybe some of our audience, our remote participants don't know about it still.

And after ‑‑ and also, I ask you Ajay to provide what are the main and the common UA challenges that we face today.

So the floor is yours, Ajay.  Please share your slides.  I know you have them.

And besides I want to remind you that USG is ‑‑ was organized by the initiative of the community in 2015. yes, and now works with the organizational and the financial support from ICANN and is a global center, let's say, of not only the promotion of universal acceptance but also the measurement of UA readiness.  So, please, Ajay.

>> AJAY DATA: Thank you, Maria.  I'm from India.  For all of you, good evening, good morning, good afternoon, wherever you are.  Namaste, from India.  And we are into the biggest festival season, it is called Diwali.  This is known for winning over the evil by goodness.  So wishing you all a happy Diwali and a wishing you all a festive season to all of you.

I was thinking Maria, it would be good to thank that we are also trying to bring everybody on Internet.  And that's what we celebrate here, that everybody in the country, 1.3 billion people celebrate one festival.  How about that all people would have access to the Internet.

That could be the biggest festival in the world.  That's what UA is about.  If we all think of it that way, this is the biggest festival we all could celebrate in some amount of time.  But these parts, thank you very much for inviting me.  I will share my screen for all of you who are the first time here.  And thank you and understand what UA is all about.

Can you see my screen?

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Yes, I can see it.

>> AJAY DATA: It is changing the DNS, and the domain names, and email addresses.  1200 plus domain names, generic top‑level domain names are live.  And these are having non‑Latin script in those top level domain names.

This is for digitally inclusive Internet, which means ensuring all domain names which are valid, and it could be in any language, it could be in the script and any length, they are accepted equally by all Internet applications, devices, and systems.  And so we have a responsibility to do all of that.  And ensuring that every person has the ability to navigate and unit on the Internet using their homeland language.  Any culture, any business, any interest, we would expect and that's what UA is all about.

What UA means for you.  You could be a system administrator, government, business, or civil society member, a strong understanding of UA brings a new frontier.  That's a huge thing.  In the time of pandemic, when the accommodations are moving very fast, this is a differentiator and this could mean a lot to you.

System administrators, if you are a system administrator, you are bringing in ‑‑ getting ready for next billion people online.  So all people who do not speak English, but want to communicate on the Internet, they are the people to be on your system.

Email administrators, they need to look at their systems and all the tools and ensure that all email address internationalizations which means an email address with non‑Latin characters are supported in your system.

Governments.  Governments are breaking the barriers, providing the tools and we have cases, and we will talk about it during the course of the discussion.  These are the people who are enablers, and who break the barriers by policies.

Businesses are obviously directly commercially drive and they need to bring the UA‑readiness in their system so that the next billion people online who are going to come online are going to be served by your businesses, by your software tools only when you support the UA standards and practices.

And we have a study as a UA group which says that there is a $9.8 billion opportunity, and it's a conservative figure, let me say that.  This is going to be a very big opportunity if dollars excite you.

What is UA?  As Maria said, I will explain for those who are understanding it for the first time.  This is the framework.  This slide is a very important slide.  This slide is going to be available through IGF, or send you an email later.  This is the coverage of UA.  Domain names, popular domain names.  You can see .sky, is a new top level domain name, other than the dot com, or it could be .sky.  It's a new popular domain name that says one thing.

Another thing is a long top level domain name, like .engineering.  And the third one is ‑‑ like in India, we have 22 IDNs as a top level.  And it is in script, and we have many top level domain names in almost every country, which is of their own language, and this is new work.  We are just creating detail.

Email addresses.  Email addresses, you can see ASCII and ASCII and if your email is coming from something like this our email systems are already supporting it.

Second, @IDN and you can see mailbox name is in ASCII, and then the domain name is not a non‑ASCII domain name.  You can see it's an IDN name.  And I will repeat this, everything, but you can understand with an example that these are the right examples.

And I'm just going to take one ‑‑ the second last example, this is real email address, by the way.  This is my own email address in Hindi.  It's a working email address.  I don't know if you can copy and paste from the slide, but if you can, you can type this out and tend me an email.  This is a valid email address.

So you can see the five boxes on the bottom, accept, validate, process, store and display.  What is accept?  Accept is if you are an application which can allow me to enter this domain name or this email ID and I can type in.  Then it can validate it well.  And it can store in the databases and when it's acquired, it can display it back.  And if your application can do all of these, you are ready.  It's time to celebrate and you are breaking the barriers for people.

We did a study, and there is a significance for all of us to work more harder and more longer.  This is very, very important.  So this is our study.  We have this report, UA readiness in 2020 on our website right now.  UA on the front page itself, you will find the support.  Understanding this one level of number which I will share so that you know we have trouble.  We have a bug in the world, and almost every website.  Only 9.7% email servers.  Only less than 10% of email servers support email addresses in local languages and script.

It's crazy.  It's a problem.  It's a known problem and we need to advocate everybody to solve it.

To let you know, Google, Microsoft companies and Apple have moved ahead and modified their software to support UA initiatives to support local languages in their system.  So you can imagine these large companies are moving in.  We all need to use these tools, use software so that our systems are UA ready and we support this new entity.

We also did a study on 1,000 websites, top websites worldwide.  And you can see only 11% of websites are ready.  So we have a long way to go.  We all have to work together to ensure that UA readiness is there.

UA around the world.  Just to give you an idea we have measures ‑‑ so in these countries, we have measures.  We have local initiatives.  We have either shares Microsoft, they are supporting UA.  And EI means these companies can host domain names on IDNs in their native script.  This is extremely important to host domain names so that the UA can be created.

So this is extremely critical component which we started in USG leadership as a group last year, so that we can have the local, regional groups drive the agenda, what is best for them, what is the top priority for them, and move in that direction to create an awareness.  We are able to do, in these countries you can see and we are able to move into China and Thailand very recently.  We are live in India.  We are live in China.  We are moving in that direction so that local initiatives are very actively moving in that direction.

Obviously, CIS and EE is live.  There's good supports to make an impact.  And we are already seeing some movement there.

And I'm ending the first part of me talk is to join the local UA initiatives.  Become part of this major event taking place in this world to break the barrier and bring national people online.

Thank you very much.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: I have two short questions to you.  You are presenting the USG community now and why is it from this supply side and you mentioned the company that already provided the ex I.  And so the full support for email addresses in local script.  What do you think?  Are there any UA challenges that are faced by such email service providers or they just got some benefits and competitive advantages because they are a pioneer in this field?

>> AJAY DATA: So, Maria, thank you for asking me this question.  Two things.  I put myself on supply side because India is taking a huge leadership in the supply side.

And my government in the state I'm in right now, there are 7 million live Hindi email addresses.  That's an example.  That's a case study on UAG.tech.  So there's a large number happening here and ‑‑ I wanted to put this as an example, why I am supply side.  There is a possibility to replicate this in every government and every state and every region.

There's a challenge everywhere.  I'm sure that once the government has passed away and shown as an example with 7 billion people, I can safely presume that lots of challenges have overcome and it's very simple for now end user to adopt the EI in that region.

I hope that answers, Maria.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay, thank you.  Thank you, Ajay.  I have already mentioned that ICANN has been deeply involved in UA and gTLD initiatives for many years.  And the second speaker is Mr. Akinori Maemura and he will explain the ICANN challenges on what they face currently and what ways have been chosen to address them by ICANN so far.

And as a person with the recent or the current technical background, I know that Akinori has been a network engineer sometime and really has really good understanding of IP addresses.

>> AKINORI MAEMURA: Yes.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: So, please, I want you to make some focus on what are obstacles amid the technical community, while your implementation and practice.  Please, the floor is yours.

>> AKINORI MAEMURA: Thank you, everyone.  Good evening from Tokyo.  It's almost 6 p.m. here in Japan.  Thank you, my name is Akinori Maemura.  I'm an ICANN board member.  I'm doing the chair of the Working Group of IDN UA.  And so I'm the board member to deal with.  This.

First, I would like to directly introduce you the IDN side, before we discuss the universal acceptance.  IDN is the identifier and then with the regional registries and the engineering task force, they are do the numbers side and the protocol side, and ICANN itself is doing the domain name things to establish the rule of how ‑‑ how to ‑‑ you know, how to put the rule for the ‑‑ you know, what kind of ‑‑ what kind of does ‑‑ can be put in the top level name domain field.

So as Maria explained in the beginning of session, the IDN, the country code TLD started in 2009.  So it is more than ‑‑ we have the history of more than one DCAD, and then in 2012, we started from the new gTLD program to expand the name space for the TLD.  So these are for expanding the name space for creating the customer choice and the competition, based on the very, you know, incumbent ‑‑ the original TLDs like a dot com, dot net and dot org.  It's high to expand the TLD, the space and then the IDN is the one part of that, that expansion of the TLDs.

So we had more than 100 ‑‑ sorry, 1200 TLDs after the expansion to create new name space.  So with this the IDN TLD has enabled those who speak languages other than English to deal with their own languages in the TLD field.

So ‑‑ but the difficult point of this is, you know, is introducing the new type of characters may introduce the instability, as well.  For example, we need to ‑‑ we need to ‑‑ we needed to tackle on the ‑‑ how to ‑‑ the problem, how to deal with the variant, which is the ‑‑ for example, two different shape of the characters are in actually, semantically the same meaning or two different characters are actually ‑‑ it's a different character, but the ‑‑ they are confusingly similar.  This kind of confusability may introduce some instability to the TLD name space.

So we spend more than a decade to set up the international rule for the top level domain name, which is not only done by the ICANN organization and the ICANN board members, but we have been involved in a lot of ‑‑ various amount of community members to ‑‑ to ‑‑ to setting the rule like this.  So this is ‑‑ you know, this is the one with ICANN, it's the biggest endeavor for setting ‑‑ creating, you know, the variety of the name space for the IDN deployment.

This is one thing.  The IDN deployment at ICANN, it's twofold, one is setting the rule for the IDN.  And then the second part is as Ajay already beautifully introduced, how to deploy.  How to have this variety of domain name accepted by the ‑‑ everyone who is using the Internet.

So this is ‑‑ this is the main topic for this session, universal acceptance.

So, you know, universal acceptance, first of all, is now advancing within ICANN community while the quite mighty community team which is being led by Dr. Ajay Data and his own really powerful, mighty leadership, to involving a lot of community member through capable and knowledgeable for spreading out to 89 entire community and the industry to have universal acceptance and concept known to all.  And then this is ‑‑ we are so grateful for the UA endeavors for this ‑‑ in the five years or maybe longer.

Then not only the USG effort.  We have already established the ICANN organization's internal steering committee to assist the UA endeavor and then have the streamlining their own efforts to make achievement.

Within the ICANN organization, I'm happy to share with you that now we have the universal acceptance program manager who is Mohamed Del Bashir who has been well recognized throughout the community to further advance the UA efforts the community.

So, you know, we set ‑‑ we at ICANN set up the IDN rule, but that's not enough.  And now we are taking a huge effort, you know, by the committee members to have it, you know, the spread as a norm all over the globe.  So this twofold is at ICANN for the universal acceptance.

Thank you very much.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Akinori.  Thank you very much.  It was very interesting to see what is going on inside of ICANN, and, of course, that all the members of its community are connected and involved in all of these issues first.

So now, I want to go to our demand side.  And I'm inviting Joanna Kulesza.  She will present the demand side and we will try with Joanna what is happening on there and what aspects of universal acceptance barrier are end users struggling with and how the civil society approach to support to universal acceptance.  So please, Joanna.

>> JOANNA KULESZA: Thank you.  I'm glad to speak.  My video has been disabled, which is fine, but just to give you that piece of information.

Thank you very much, I am indeed involved with the ALAC which is the At‑Large Advisory Committee.  We have many questions, how do you do that?  How do you get 1 billion people that are online?  And we would in no way aspire to represent individually that is using any kind of Internet service, but what we try to do is we try to understand what an average end user is expecting from an online service.

And we try to represent those expectations the best that we can.  In that sense, we understand that there is a commodity of expectations that need to be ‑‑ that need to be expected, and in that sense, we try to advocate for accessibility of all services is, and this is where universal acceptance comes in.

We would look at universal acceptance as an average end user to be better able to use the services that are available online.

In that sense, universal acceptance to us is a compilation of elements as Ajay wonderfully explained and I do encourage you to use his email address and that's a universal acceptance example.

So we would look at universal acceptance as a compilation of issues that come to the foreground would be on one hand non‑Latin scripts, and it's something that we have covered in much detail.

On the other hand, it would be new gTLDs.  Now, those two leading topics need and necessity individual approaches.  So as much as non‑Latin scripts would be a very direct instigation of the expectations of end user, we would expect every end user to be able to use their script to be able to interact online and that is of predominant value.  With new gTLDs, there's a compilation of elements to look into.

On one hand, it does enrich as rightfully noted by Ajay, it does enrich consumer use.  Here in Europe, we would be focused on consumer protection and we would be focused on making sure that that competition is fair, whatever that might mean.  Effectively, that comes to the foreground with India at large.  We try to make sure that all the groups of end users, especially those ones who are underrepresented in the community have a chance to be able to heard and to have their interests looked into.

This is why the at‑large stands strongly for public interest commitment.  So this would be an important element of the discussion of new gTLDs, something that comes to the foreground when we look at the demand side.  It's also this current challenge that we are facing globally that would be the pandemic.  On the one hand, it has increased our reliance on the network.  We want to make sure that all the services are available to everyone who is using the net.

On the other hand, it seems as this might also impact the demand for new gTLDs.  So looking at the variety of issues that come under the universal acceptance umbrella, the perception would be ‑‑ it might make sense to offer targeted approached and this is something I see in the chat as well.  So we would have participants of this specific workshop that already uses the term "universal acceptance" that might be ambiguous to some.  And they clearly note, well, I am aware of local scripts or local diacritical marks.  I wouldn't think of using them online.  Think it's very relevant, also for this region that I have the opportunity to represent here, that's Central and Eastern Europe.  The they welcome the opportunity to use the alphabet online.

In central Europe, where we are accustomed to using Latin scripts, the awareness of universal acceptance is relatively low.  We would encourage increasing the awareness and outreach to stakeholder groups, particularly when it comes to governments and local initiatives to raise awareness of universal acceptance, particularly the script, the elements of non‑Latin scripts that appear in local languages that would probably be useful.

It is also an element with capacity building.  So incorporating segments on universal acceptance in academic forces, various forces, both that deal with social sciences on Internet Governance and international relations and particularly when it comes to computer science students, raising awareness about how the DNS is built, and why universal acceptance is relevant.  So demand side would expect in that sense, and I take ‑‑ to try to make that a focused statement.  So I would assume that the expectation would be to offer fair competition across the board but at the same time to offer capacity building and raise awareness in specific targeted stakeholder groups on why the issues we are discussing here are relevant.

Will stop here and I'm looking forward to other intervention.  Thank you very much.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Joanna.

So very, very detailed position.  And very many examples you have provided.

So I have one question for you.  So I think that you have already mentioned it, but maybe you can add something in this field.  From the end user perspective, how do you think.  Is universal acceptance a main barrier and exactly this prevents achieving a truly multilingual Internet?

>> JOANNA KULESZA: Universal acceptance is of high importance to the end user.

There's no doubt that universal acceptance is of predominant significance.  The awareness of that challenge differentiates among regions.  We have regions where it is targeted the outreach would probably be useful.  That would be one of the obstacles that we would need to overcome to make the Internet more approachable, more usable to the end user.

But in certain regions more outreach would be appreciated.  That would be my response to your question.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Joanne.  We will continue to look at the demand side and as it was mentioned by Ajay Data and achieving this, we will have a ‑‑ for example, the registration of the domain names and local languages can grow if end users find the email addresses, based that the domain names are directly accept.  So to consider the UA challenges existing for the business community, particularly the domain name business, I invite Walter Wu, to ‑‑ and ask him to share his opinion from the domain name industry.  So okay ‑‑ but um ‑‑

>> WALTER WU: Thank you, Maria.  It's my great honor to have this opportunity to present and communicate with the industry experts.  I just make a simple introduction.  I'm from China.  Chinese IDN registry.trademark.  I also serve as the UA ambassador and also the ‑‑ I serve as the deputy director of a Chinese domain name initiative in society of China.  We also have the local initiative of the USG.

I will share my point of view about understanding about UA challenges in China.  As you may know, Chinese's official in China and simplified Chinese is officially used in writing script in mainland China.  By June of 2020, China as more than 40 million users and about 30 million mobile users.  Among those Internet users, very few of them speak English fluently.  So for most of the China Internet users traditional domain system, it's difficult to using natural language online.

So gTLD and ICANN provides the hope for Chinese Internet users.  Registrants show their great passion for the IDN.  There are over 2 million IDN owe main names registered in China and the Chinese registrants are 85% of the global gTLD IDN market.  However, the UA issue is a big obstacles for IDN and the new gTLD.  So Internet browsers don't support IDN.  While Internet users typing IDN in the address bar of browsers, sometimes it was directed to a search patch.  The website using the IDN domain names are included by search engines or sometimes this was ‑‑ it is include, but not displayed correctly.

For example, they display the website name as punitive.  It cannot be received and sent correctly.  The web viewing platforms does not support the IDN fact.  The messenger software doesn't display IDN as a hyperlink.  It's very popular in the industry.  There's big issues about the practicability of IDN.  They can't lose the potential traffic or the potential customers and that's why although there are nearly 2 million registrations in China, you can ‑‑ you just see very few enterprise organizations displaying their ID and their brochure and advertisement package.  And users are familiar with IDN and don't get used to IDN for Internet navigation.

To summarize, it's been a fatal effect for IDN.  So it's time to fix it.  Thank you.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.  Thank you, Walter.  And I have one clarification question for you.  So you have provided an example that even where the demand, if it exists the demand on UA ready solutions, the technology is not available or only partially ‑‑ partly support universal acceptance.

So ‑‑ and the key technology players do not want to prioritize universal acceptance support even if they see any social economic benefit.  So why do you think this is happening?  So why they don't want to prioritize it?  Maybe because you ‑‑ you have many dialogues with them.  So what have you heard from their side?

>> WALTER WU: Yes, I think that's actually a key question.  A very good question.

I think the problems of the UA issue is not ‑‑ it's not from the technical standards site or it's not solution site.  I think for the ‑‑ for example, for the IDN, every browser, they help the Internet user navigate online.  That's their obligation to provide the standard DNS.  That's no problem for the ASCII domain names.  Because some Internet browsers in China was developed by a search member.  So the Internet traffic is pretty important.  They will redirect a search or type in IDN of a domain name as a search stream and go to a search page.  I don't think that's a pretty technical solution problem.  That's kind of ‑‑ I think that's kind of, you know, the ‑‑ what their aim for the ‑‑ for the commercial value, for the maximum of the commercial value.

And also, I think that there is a gap between the domain name industry and the technical side, or the ‑‑ we say the Internet provider.  So ‑‑ and also for the email solution.  I think the email solution is pretty mature and IGF standard or whatever, but no email vendor wants to jump out support to be the first to support the UA, because if they did that, maybe they will get the pressure from the customers for some emails cannot be correctly sent or received.  I think every vendor is feared of that.  So that needs the communication and the need of collaboration, I mean, to let the email vendors to, you know, implement the UA at the same time.

So to summarize your question, I think the whole UA issue is not pure technical problems.  It is kind of ‑‑ you know, in a different market, for a different reason, you know, why they did not support the UA.  I will explain what happens in China.  Sometimes because of a commercial value, sometimes because of, you know ‑‑ normally they want to go out.  The demand, it's like chicken and egg issues.  There are 2 million domain name registration, but very few enterprise or organizations really use the IDN.  The IDN domain name in China will be registered as a pure protection.

People just want to protect their own domain names but they know there's a big challenge to use that.  So nobody really use the IDN.  If nobody really use the IDN, Internet user never have a chance to use the IDN and Internet user do not use the IDN, but Internet service provider and the big Internet companies will not really think the IDN is a big demand.  So that's why we need to use old kind of workshop, education, communication, to have the community realize the issue and that everyone works together to push forward.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.  Thank you.  Thank you, Walter, very much for your input.

So now I want to make some short sum up from our first part of the discussion and to go to our Q&A session.

So as I understand and have gathered from our panelists, that they highlighted the following UA challenges.  So first of all, lack of knowledge on your components, as well as the technical community ‑‑ among the technical community as well as the end users.  And particularly, in the field of language ‑‑ different language and scripts and the specifics ‑‑ the specifics of their usage.

So one more challenge is that we need not only ‑‑ there is into Ed for not only technology standards in place, but to change the attitude of UA implementation and realization of truly multilingual Internet by different stakeholders.  And also we need the diversity of approach in promoting different components of universal acceptance, especially in different regions.  Because the level of understanding is quite diverse.

And I can say that necessity to keep the system secure and stable and following the principles ever interoperability are important as well.

So ‑‑ and Akinori has mentioned about these points.

Also, as Walter has mentioned, we see the gap in communication between the domain name market and popular Internet application.  And Internet application developers, they don't want to support the universal acceptance support.  Because I understand, because they don't see that they can make a profit in the very short term.

So ‑‑ because they don't see the commercial benefits.  So I hope that I managed to gather all the inputs.

Now we will go to the Q&A session and I'm asking Dennis if there were some inputs from our remote participants, and if anyone wants to ask questions.  So please raise your hands.  I think we have time for two or three questions from the audience.  So Dennis, we begin with you.

>> DENNIS TAN: Sure, Maria.  I hope you can hear me okay.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Yes.

>> DENNIS TAN: So there were a few comments on the chat box, that I have summarized.  So I think there are three main ideas here as far as challenges to adopt or promote universal acceptance.  The first one is the lack of web content in local languages and I think the comment goes into right ‑‑ if there is no local content using the local native languages, I mean, the domain name is an extension of that.  So not having local content does not promote using local languages.

The second item is users have become accustomed to them not supporting local characters.  When the Internet was introduced many, many years ago and only ASCII was the norm, so users have to work around that, and now when you introduce IDNs and such, that is something that is not familiar, I guess.  And the third challenge for universal acceptance, nowadays, the search engines are a powerful tool also help users go around not having it memorize domain names.  They can search in English or their own languages and that's kind of the way for them to find the website that they are looking for.  So if the use of search engines replace the need to memorize domain names, how can they support UA.

So those are the three challenges, the lack of web content in local languages.  The second one users accustomed domain ‑‑ an the third one is the use of search engine so people don't have to memorize the domain names.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.  Thank you very much.  Now we have questions and I wanted to give the microphone to Maarten Botterman.

>> PARTICIPANT: Thank you for the update on universal acceptance and the specific input of IDNs.  I appreciate the technical and the market and also the user's perspective.

And I think the key point that Dennis made is the biggest driver to get this going is to make it interesting for people to come online.  And most applications may be region or in a province locally to support people who don't use the Internet across the world, but are interested in using the benefits for their local regions, then maybe governments can step up and take a role there, content provision.  So for sure a continued call to governance to have their people use this well and offer more and more content in the local languages.

A question to, I think, specifically Ajay and maybe to others, what is the business case for businesses to really go and offer all of this content if there's only 10% that results?  How do we get that?  The chicken and the egg.

>> AJAY DATA: Yes, thank you, Maarten.  I know you know the answer but let's try to bring it to the people.  Another remote question, those countries or the regions where the language is not really an issue, why they should adopt the UA acceptance.

And then all the friends here can add to my views.  Let's assume that you are in awe country where no IDN is required and you are completely English specific country but do not forget that you do not work in isolation.  You work with the world and world will have email addresses in their languages and you would like to community on them.  They would like to end you an email.  They would like to send you payment and if you do not accept, you will not be able to work with them.  It's a small case and then when you deal with the whole world, you can't just be in isolation of your whole standard and we have to follow the part of the standardization.  That's the power of the Internet.

When we are on the same page, then we harness the power.  That's a simple business case and I can go on for an hour to explain and advocate about this, but this is a simple case and it's not really a good argument.  Secondly the benefit.  Let me tell you the benefit.

In my state, they wanted to argue the same question that people can have g mail ID and they get up, what is the point of providing them a Hindi email address and then we did a survey and we did a study and out of 100 people, 37 people do not know the email address with the phone they are using.

It was configured by the phone supplier.  They don't know, because they don't know English.  It is simple.  They have the email ID configured on their phone because the phone does not work without the email ID.  Technically for the sake of number, they have an email, but they don't know it.  Someone else configured for them.  So how do they communicate?  That email ID is not available to the government.  So now with the power of email address, government is now able to each to the person whom they would have never reached before.  Now they are able to communicate.  And you have 7 million people who are deprived to get a communication from the government for their benefits.  That's a huge case.  The moment we make the barrier ‑‑ Maarten when the dot com started, no one believed that there would be these websites.

We are at the same junction that we have to fight for and some part of time that will be become part of you are history and people will sound fool who are not liking this idea.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: I see some questions in the chat.  Dennis I want to know if you will provide them or this is and invitation to Ajay to put his answers in chat.

Okay.  I think they are quite similar.  I can pronounce them to Ajay.

So the question was if someone will get their email in Hindi.  How do they know this is not a bad email address.  You pointed that some email services does not provide information about exactly the email address, only the name of the sender, but ‑‑ so what would you recommend in this point.  This is not a UA problem.  We can certainly have a session for sure about the trustability and everything for sure.

And the ID ‑‑ it's not a problem in ASCII domain, what I receive a email from [email protected].  How do I know it's from Maarten, really?  It's a long discussion that we always have.  The popular domain names and the domain names and service provider, you have trustability.

The domain name is passing the SPF, and the ICANN.  Is it valid?  Is it having a PLS configured and is it coming secure or not.  There are many pools already on wait when the mail services get configured for a good service.  And the clients nowadays if you the Android and the Microsoft, all three and a basic hygiene check is always performed whether the domain is coming and main sourced is coming or bad source from the IP.  This is basic hygiene that happens.

But the similarity from the security point of view is I guess ‑‑ and this is my view that IDN is more trustability and more strength than an ASCII domain as of now, because they don't understand them.  They can't attack you.  The spammers do not create the maims out of these IDs and domain name.  There may be a small percentage that come in.  There are ‑‑ (No audio).

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Oh.  I think ‑‑ I think ‑‑ Ajay?

>> AJAY DATA: I got lost.  My Zoom shut off and restarted.  So maybe someone in Zoom doesn't like what I was speaking.  So the question is ‑‑ the question is that this is about a non‑ ‑‑

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.

>> AJAY DATA: This is a several proved that this is a very strong IDN case here.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.  So as I can conclude from the first part of our session that first of all, that IDN exists and email addresses in local scripts exist so don't forget about this, first part and the second part.  So if you want to work on your local script, think of who will understand you in this script and who you want to communicate with it.

Because actually, I would put the parallel of that in use, just our ordinary paper post you always put the address of the language that can be read in those countries that will receive this letter.  So I think this is parallels here and Internet just provides some tools that are similar that are similar to offline life.  Don't forget about this.

Okay, Joanna, you want to input?

>> JOANNA KULESZA: I think there is a vital interest in us understanding what is expected.  I think the discussion we are having here in the chat is an argument for more awareness raising, and for more capacity building.  As Ajay was explaining, it's about the trust.  It's about raising awareness of what it is, and building trust.  I'm speaking on behalf of the demand side.  And there is' try business advantage if you can use UA popular.  Now the name of my city is Jodz.

If we used Polish script, it would be Jodz.  I think it would be a tremendous benefit to use this very Polish name.  I think there's a certain advantage to encourage people to join the universal acceptance movement we are trying to rep here during the IGF but it comes at the rice of making them aware of what it is and building the trust.  AI appreciate the discussion.  Thank you very much.  Sol I don't see questions.  Dennis?

>> DENNIS TAN: No questions, but it follows open the theme about the UA, two sides of the same coin.  The acceptance issue and it talks about raising awareness on both ends.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.  So then I suggest all of us to come towards the second part of our workshop.  And so the first part, we have analyzed what makes universal acceptance like barrier and what challenges all of us faced in this field.  And now our aim is to address how stakeholders on the demand and the supply side can be motivated.  And they can come together and find solutions to address these universal acceptance challenges and have a multilingual.  So as was mentioned during the Q&A session, so public sector could play a key role here, and because he can drive the necessary demand, and to better serve their citizens, the governments could lead by example in the email statements.  Especially if we talk about local languages and scripts.

They can require the support of these issues through the procurement policies, and in much the same way, they can push forward the technology developers and the whole ‑‑ this digital transformation which we are watching now.  Connected with new domain names and email addresses and, of course, provide in this way better connectivity for all the citizens including minorities.  So from that perspective, I'm asking our panelists so ask the following questions, what next steps can be taken and how to address the formed gaps of universal acceptance.

So what stakeholders, as you see it can be invited also in these dialogue and how they can be moderated to adopt and promote universal acceptance solutions.  And so please make special focus on the public sector and its roll in these processes so each panelist will have five minutes.  I invite Dr. Data to the microphone.

>> AJAY DATA: Thank you, Maria.  It's a wonderful learning session.  So my view is very simple.  This is not just the readership and my friends Mark and Dennis, we can do that.

This is about the whole world community joining us together to solve this problem.  I would encourage everyone to look at the UA initiative.  There are two direct interventions that you can do in your region.  One, you can look at becoming an ambassador in your region for UA and you can start a local initiative and both are fully supported by way of guidance and mentoring and run local expenses.  This is a framework support, with a whole supportive community.  Maria, you know that we are 500 plus members.

But 500 plus members from the whole world is a small number.  It's a big number from the UA, from ICANN or UA perspective, but from worldwide service, we need a lot more people to take this up in a much more stronger available and there's so we must leave this work of as far asking what is really required locally, and we will support them for whatever is required that is the initiative that invite everyone to look at for two things from USG.  One is to apply for join for start the local initiative.  That is the second.  Thank you.

We see your suggestions and what else can you recommend especially for the end user community.  USG is more focused on the technical community and the questions of public sector engagement now.  So do you have any suggestions to the special enter user community?  Ajay?

>> AJAY DATA: So you want me to speak?

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Yes.  Please so end user, I think the demand side, right?

>> AJAY DATA: And if you are a non‑English speaker, knock the door off of your Internet provider.  I'm sure you, the end users, you are the one who will get benefits faster.  We must start asking of the domain register, whatever software we are dealing in, if the end user is going to start asking, hey this email is not working.  Hey, look this domain is not working.  Solve this bug.  This is what I expect from the end users right now.

The moment we start, every application will be UA ready.  Just start asking.  Just raise the awareness that we have a bug, and we need to solve it.

The website also has a section where ‑‑ where the end user can go and raise a complaint or a ticket if the software is not accepting.  For example, airline website or any foreign website.  So it can raise an ICANN ‑‑ and ICANN supports us in UA to go back to the website and ensure to put the plan with UA in their portal.  We go to them and let them know that we are missing the customers.  So UA end user can just adopt ‑‑ start adopting the email addresses IDNs and go to their software whatever they are using to push them to make you ready.  Thank you.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: And I'm inviting Akinori to provide his suggestions on how we can go forward with your challenges, please.

>> AKINORI MAEMURA: Thank you very much.  It is a very hard question, and, you know, we have a lot of technology for which we are definitely need for the future.  For example, the IPv6, the DNSSEC, and we need that for accommodating much more user of the Internet or to reinforce the content and then UA is another version of such a new technology.  It's really hard to get everyone of that and then implement it to the end system.  So the most ‑‑ the most parent part is to collaborate with a lot of stakeholders and figuring out that ICANN is doing through the USG and USG and ambassadors, as Ajay said is wide spread to the globe.  And then they can make action in their local field to, you know, spread the words of the important of the universal acceptance and then that's one part.  Another part is maybe ‑‑ you know, USG's endeavor would be quite bottom up feature and maybe ICANN itself needs to have more the efforts to have, you know, the bigger player to have much more advance to the universal acceptance.  So that's another point.  And then as already told, the governments is really important to advance.  This is a multilingual issue and it's a quite cultural issue.  And if the government may be quite, you know, interested and obliged to move it forward.

Not only government but all stakeholders should be involved, and the USG and ICANN should reach out to the various stakeholders.

So sorry with the lack of concreteness and then very short we should try very hard for to follow.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you very much.  I hope ICANN has already made good steps in helping to achieve and is achieving universal acceptance and organizing with concrete stakeholders, and ICANN has such plans to communicate with the key players on technology markets like technology developer companies that are very important for the whole market of Internet oriented applications and I hope you will continue this work in this field because you have all the competitive competence and your position allows you.

And now I want to have ‑‑ I want to invite Joanna Kulesza to provide her point from the end user perspective and please share your upon on public sector engagement.  Joanna.

Joanna, are you with us?

Okay.  We'll connect Joanna.  I invite Walter Wu to provide his inputs on this field.  Walter, please.

>> WALTER WU: Actually, Maria, I will share some of the things that the Chinese community has made.  And hopefully this can be useful to solve UA issues globally.

The communities in China have a consensus that it's important to have a more IDN user friendly environment.  Then come from the industry association, and Internet companies and domain initiative was set up in January of this year.

CDN has a law of USAG, just like a bridge between the local community and the global community.  To promote the understanding of a UA, the leadership member of the CDNI, offers to the major Internet companies whose application to the majority of the market share and covered the wide range of internet users.

For example, there's major Chinese search engine provider, and so goes the leading Chinese input method and the browser service provider.  360 also is a big service provider of Chinese search engine and browsers, as well as the leading person email vendors so we invite all of those big Internet companies to be the coleader of CDNI and then we could have the opportunity to have a face‑to‑face communication and what is a UA issue and then, you know, make the consensus that we need to move forward together.  During the outreach meeting, CNDI also introduced, for example, what is ICANN and USG, and what is the new gTLD program.  And also we also, you know, provide a better perspective of end user.

The Internet companies, actually, we have a pretty positive answer from the Internet companies.  For example now by doing 360, they have decrees to enlarge the support of the Chinese IDN side, and so goes the mobile provider and 360 provider pass, and they are conducting their IDN work including support for EI for their personal email applications.  Actually, you know, that's a major communication work that we are doing with major Internet players in China.  Besides, I think we also have the following cushion about pushing the UA issue.

First of all, we should address the significance of UA realization or what does it mean to the country and the community.  The CND will promote the awareness of a UA.  We also want to create more opportunity to meet and have face‑to‑face meeting for both major Internet service providers.  From the perspective of the user on the one hand, the realization for UA will benefit from setting up a friendly environment that the potential value could be boosted.  On the other hand, more education shall be organized for the end user as many of them do not know, you know, they could use another language for Internet serving.  So it strongly believes that both efforts will set good examples for other players applications, and will achieve more progress in the future and that's a major part, you know, for introducing the ‑‑ the UA progress in China.

And, you know, at the end, I want to summarize a little bit what my personal understanding about how to promote the UA.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Just one minute, please.

>> WALTER WU: To improve the UA, we have to increase the awareness of IDN.  Just now the audience asks why do we not use the search engine.  Because the search engine never provide a direct connection between the enterprise and the customer.  That's the key value of IDN and all the gTLD domain name.  So that's all.  Thank you.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Walter for your opinion.  And now we have Joanna.  She's with you.

>> JOANNA KULESZA: Thank you very much.  I will be with very brief.  Thank you for dropping off.  I think I covered most of the issues that I believe are relevant.  I do agree with Akinori.  It's about reaching not governments and working together.  The overall narrative is for us is to advance the multi‑stakeholder.  There's no other way we can accomplish any of the themes that fall within Internet governance, especially UA.  There is a weight that is on the governments to better represent regional values or cultures, but it is a multi‑stakeholder effort.  So I welcome all the accommodations that have been done and I'm very much looking forward to the at large following these.  Thank you very much.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Joanna.  Thank you very much.

And so I think I may be do provide some sum up of the session.  But now we have very little time.  Dennis, can you summarize our inputs from the chat and I'm not sure we have time for the questions but maybe one would be appreciated.

Dennis?

>> DENNIS TAN: Thank you, Maria.  Yes, as far as solutions or ways to move forward.  Some comments on the chat box, one is to build awareness of UA and how that will advance local communities, also government can play a big role in promoting usage of local languages and therefore the domain names in local languages and content as well.  Capacity building is mentioned to provide community training and how they can promote UA and I think lugging to the local UA initiative and work in that direction.  There is also mentioned about how the national Internet registries can promote the usage of domain names in their local languages and also a solution is to help or either through funding or training or resources to the private sector those that are involved in hardware and software developers for them to know about the issues and how they can, you know, create the products and services including universal acceptance.  So that's largely the comments on the chat.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Okay.  So I don't see any hands raised.  So I will summarize shortly what we have achieved in our second part.  So if you have some additions, as I our panelists, they provided the following suggestions.  So we ‑‑ first of all we need to continue to raise awareness of the UA challenges and the neediness of UA ready necessary and multivote all stakeholders as globally as on the regional levels.  On the regional levels, sometimes there's different understanding of the whole problems.

And stakeholders should review their attitude and look at the larger social benefit and the long‑term business benefit of supporting UA readiness and especially the public sector can lead by the example, and drive the whole ‑‑ hold these universal acceptance implementation process through the instruments and tools that they have and they use and provide for their citizens.

So we also need to provide more education for end users on their possibilities of using local languages and scripts on the net.  Explain the different categories mentioned by Ajay Data, which are involves universal acceptance scope.

And we also need to reach the global technology leaders to support universal technology solutions for broader adoption by customers.  There is the need to develop and provide trainings so the global technical audience on how to enable UA readiness in their systems that Walter has mentioned.

We can incorporate in the universal readiness, a thematic in special technical degrees in educational programs for computer science students.  So they can be involved in all of these issues ‑‑ to start to work on our market.

And of course it should be made in collaboration with academia and university communities.  And end users can be a part of this UA implementation process if they should ‑‑ if they actively will participate and communicate with those organizations they are conduct with.  So they can ask for these support and in such a way to demonstrate the high demand on these services.

And, of course, we need to keep an eye on security issues and stability issues and as I already mentioned look on how to follow the interoperability principles of the Internet.

So this is my conclusion that I have put from this session.  If you want to put some notes, just ‑‑ we are actually out of time.  But if you want to put some closing remarks, just for a minute, I can provide you the microphone.  So I suggestion it for our panelists.

Do you agree with these conclusions or want to ‑‑ want to add something?

>> AJAY DATA: I want to end ‑‑ I want to take two seconds before you end, just for the benefit of our audience that UA is working very actively to find the technology gaps, find and work on them, very actively to find the solutions, make them more straightforward, and make them more ready and that's the very active work which we do as a community and there's a specific Working Group which tries to do that.  There's a technology Working Group that works on the technology side and so there's a good structure.  So I would request everyone who is not aware about UA, please visit USG website.  So you can join Working Groups.  You are welcome and you are straightforward.  There's no objections.  So if you are interested to contribute, you would be welcomed and would being able to contribute.  I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk about it.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Ajay.

So Akinori.

>> AKINORI MAEMURA: Thank you for your excellent moderation.  Thank you to all panelists and participants nor the good suggestion and input and ideas, which helps us a lot.  Thank you very much.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you, Joanna.

>> JOANNA KULESZA: Thank you, everyone.  It was a pleasure to be here and I'm happy to be at large to support the items we have so precisely identified.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: And Walter?

>> WALTER WU: Thank you.  Thank you, everyone, for a productive meeting and I look forward to the communication about the UA, about the implementation in China.

>> MARIA KOLESNIKOVA: Thank you for our panelists for the organization ‑‑ the organizers of this session, and for all of our participants, I hope that this session helps you to understand universal acceptance issues better and now you know how to join these processes and what we need to do further.  I want to mention that I'm really glad that this topic is raised on IGF field and now it's one of the priorities in ICANN community and on ICANN fields.  So I think we need to move further and invite more stakeholders to be involved in all of these processes and these need to be kept further and it's also widely discussed on the future.  On regional and national IGFs because this is very connected with the local agenda of different countries.

 

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