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From ISOC News

1. PRESIDENT'S REPORT
By Don Heath, President/CEO, heath@isoc.org

* ICANN Noncommercial Constituency

There is currently a lot of discussion in the ICANN Noncommercial 
Constituency about the voice of ISOC chapters and whether or not they
should 
have the ability to vote. Many (most?) seem to believe that if the ISOC
chapters
could vote in the 
constituency, ISOC would have more clout in ICANN, and that ISOC already
has 
substantial clout in ICANN. Others believe that the ISOC chapters, at
least
those outside of the U.S., 
have a valuable perspective and, if allowed to vote, would more
accurately 
reflect the global views of the constituency.

In the event that it may be resolved with chapters continuing as members
of 
the constituency, but not getting a separate vote, it will be good for 
chapters to make their positions clear on any issues that are addressed
in 
the constituency. I believe that we would likely have a consistent view,
but 
it will be healthy to have ISOC most accurately represent and reflect
the 
views of our chapters.

4. PUBLIC POLICY
By David Maher, Vice President, Public Policy, dwmaher@ibm.net

How to express a domain name in something other than Roman letters is a 
recurring topic of interest to the many millions of Internet users whose 
native languages use non- Roman alphabets or ideograms, such as Chinese
and 
Japanese.

Recently a controversy arose in Thailand, where two initiatives each
proposed 
a means of expressing domain names in Thai script. One proposal was made
by a 
Singapore developer, Internationalized Domain Name System (iDNS), and
the 
other by ThaiURL.com. There is a concern that the conflicting proposals
could 
lead to compatibility problems if two different ISPs use different
systems; a 
URL entered in one form might not be accepted by an ISP using the other.
In addition, questions have been raised regarding intellectual property 
rights in the proposed systems.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has undertaken a study of the 
problem. The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Working Group of the
IETF is 
tasked with evaluating a number of specific proposals for
internationalizing 
domain names. It will consider the proposals in light of the continued
global 
network interoperation that is the deserved expectation of all Internet 
users.


-- 
Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone: 41 (22) 702 62 49
24 quai Ernest-Ansermet             mailto:Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch
CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland                   Fax: 41 (22) 702 61 08

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