Things you didn’t realize were on the ICANN site: Part 2

by Kieren McCarthy on January 23, 2008

It is very inconsiderate of five-sixths of the world to fail to speak English, but then we are reliably informed that they feel pretty much the same way.

And so while the Internet has done an extraordinary job of transcending physical borders, language remains a pretty significant issue if you want to actually communicate with your new online neighbour.

When it comes to ICANN’s work, this comes with an extra layer of complexity thanks to the fact that the vast majority of English speakers wouldn’t know what an English speaker was talking about when discussing many of the topics that concern ICANN on a day-to-day basis.

But we can take it one step higher when it comes to the issue of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) where the lingo and terminology itself recognizes different languages and the way they function technically and linguistically with one another on the Internet.

So that’s trying to make complex multi-lingual jargon, written in English, accessible in other languages. Don’t ask us how, but a large group of volunteers who understand the importance of IDNs and making the Internet available in people’s own languages, to give them their own Internet, managed to make sense of this and produce a series of IDN Glossaries in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.

And that is this time’s “Things you didn’t realize were on the ICANN site”. The IDN Glossary page, available at:

More secrets uncovered soon…

Previous novel realizations

Part 1: Virtual bookshelf


Anonymous 01.23.08 at 2:12 pm

Maybe ICANN should just stick to helping american companies make money and let the rest of the world take care of themselves. ICANN has proven time and time again that they cannot handle much responsibility.

Wouldn’t want you guys to start WWIV over racist remarks (like the one that starts off this blog post) in a country like China or Russia.

Oh, but it’s okay for you guys to use racist but seemingly joking sentences in the blog while it’s “against the rules” for anyone to be critical of your organization! Enjoy your fantasy land!

Kieren McCarthy 01.23.08 at 2:44 pm

Thank you for your reasoned, balanced and insightful response.

We can only hope that this thread sets a new record for Godwin’s Law.


Ban Anna 01.24.08 at 1:32 am

It is inconsiderate for 5/6ths of the worlds population to make 6/6ths of the worlds spam.

ICANN should stick to the English speaking world and let everyone else create their own (and different) internet.

Then we could focus less on infinite layers of security and more on creating effective abd efficient communication.

中华大典 01.24.08 at 2:59 am

About 2 hundred million Chinese people will benefit from IDNs, more and more site will build up with a Chinese IDNs, we all look forword to IDNs come out from experiment and become reality.

Michael 01.24.08 at 7:59 am

I think someone’s sarcasm detector is broken.

Kieren McCarthy 01.24.08 at 8:45 am

Hi Ban Anna,

Aside from the fact that your basic premise about spam is, I’m afraid, almost entirely wrong, I think you have ended up on the wrong site.

ICANN as an organization is dedicated to maintaining a single, global, interoperable root. In fact a big chunk of the reason ICANN exists is because of the extraordinary economic, social and political advantages that comes from maintaining a “single Internet”.

Even if we remove that aspect and assume that it’s felt to be a good idea to split up the Internet into regions – this would have negligible impact on the issue of security.

The reason security is an issue is because the Internet is important, it makes it worth people’s while try to find ways of subverting it. In the days of the Wild West, banks would hire gunslingers to ride with their coaches to protect the money as it travelled across country. Now they have enormous electronic security systems and bank vaults of a complexity it is difficult to imagine.

I’m afraid you are imagining a utopia that doesn’t – and will never – exist.


CaptainProton 01.24.08 at 10:39 am

Things that I realize *Are NOT* on the ICANN site;

An update to this URL;
Giving us an update to court documents surrounding the Registerfly problems.

An general update to the Registerfly problem (that was already promised when I complained about it months ago)

Meaningful accountability for Registerfly (they are still operating a domain name registration business), though they have declared bankruptcy in another state. And an accounting of Registerfly domain books, which has apparently YET to happen.

Meaningful explanations of safeguards against this happening again (i.e. explaining why ICANN is not completely impotent in this area, as they completely appear to be. As evidenced by their incapacity to update the above URL).

Once again, ICANN (or Kieren) is touting the ICANN’s silver plate, covering a lead base. Thanks for NOTHING ICANN!!!

Oh yeah, thanks ICANN/Kieren FOR NOT keeping your word. I would say pretty meaningless at this point.

Ban Ana 01.24.08 at 11:17 am

Sorry Kieren

But ICANN is dreaming in some Eutopia that will never exist.

All this rubbish about IDN’s and how they will translate into English and vice versa. I guess while ICANN naval gaze they’ll expect all the .com holders to subsidise these IDN’s and infrastructure extensions.

This is what ICANN should do (And a damn sight more productive with our renewal fees)..

1) Actually be accountable to those that have paid for the internet already (TLD’s)

2) Ensure that all new extensions and IDN’s have FULL COST attached to their issue/renewal costs (not just a marginal or notional rate that you apply – e.g. no cross subsidisation from prior TLD’s). Get some real accountants if you don’t understand this.

3) Get some proper legal and procedural framework so that issues such as Registerfly are properly dealt with.

Sorry, but most of the European / American internet community think you need to raise your game considerably.

I might be on the wrong site, but Kieren I think you are in the wrong job.

Kieren McCarthy 01.24.08 at 11:37 am

Hold on to your cape, Captain Proton, because I am going to agree with you.

I did promise an update, I have chased the update several times, but you are right, one has not appeared as yet.

What I can tell you is that ICANN has been chasing Kevin Medina through the courts the whole time. I will ask our lawyers to put together a summary of what has happened when.

As for the changes to make sure RegisterFly doesn’t happen again, well you are wrong there, but again you have a point in that we have not been flagging it as a solution to the RegisterFly issue.

This is for two pretty simple reasons:

1. The changes are much broader than just RegisterFly – this is about the whole structure that exists for people to register Internet domain names
2. The focus is not on RegisterFly – nor should it be – because what happened with RegisterFly was pretty odd and unusual and it unlikely to be reoccur. So deciding new policies on this one extreme example is going to be a very bad idea.

So what have we done? A lot.

* Data escrow. This is not only decided, it is being used. It has been a huge amount of work (for which you can thank Mike Zupke – the man who soaked up alot of abuse during the RegisterFly issue) but it is done, in place, being used. (It was officially announced in November.)

So that removes the biggest problem that RegisterFly caused.

* Changes to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement – the fundamental contract has with registrars – have received a huge amount of input and been through a huge review.

In fact, I did a big update on this process for the ICANN December magazine (you can sign up here).

That update said: “The contract that defines the relationship between ICANN and companies that register domain names (registrars) is under review.

“Following discussion with registrars, an initial six suggested amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) were posted for public review (two more have since been added). That public comment period provided a further 50 suggestions, and a Working Group from the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), which represents ordinary Internet users, produced a report into the RAA review which put forward a further 37 proposals for change. A similar review [pdf] by the Intellectual Property Constituency of the GNSO produced 19 suggested changes. On top of which the registrars have also put forward a few suggested changes.

“ALAC held a special workshop [pdf] at ICANN’s most recent Los Angeles meeting (transcript) exclusively covering the RAA changes.

“ICANN is currently working with registrars to arrive at new amendments following the extensive feedback. The results from that will be put out for a second round of public comment, most likely in time for ICANN’s meeting in Delhi in February.”

For more info go to:

* Registrar failure. This is the third prong of the trident. ICANN has done a lot of work on this (this time Patrick Jones is to thank) and we have produced a Failover Plan, which has been put out to public comment and for which we have done a summary and analysis of the comments we received. You can see all you need on the public comment page here.

On top of that, we have a dedicated session at the Delhi meeting next month to discuss exactly this – details here.

So that’s what’s been going on. I have failed in that I haven’t got around to compiling all this information and sticking a RegisterFly tag on it and for that I apologize. But that’s my doing. The organization itself has done a great job of dealing with the aftermath – and it’s done it without jumping to conclusions, without focussing unnecessary on one extreme example (RegisterFly) and it has done it carefully, methodically and with the buy-in of the whole Internet community i.e. we’ve done our job and done it well.

I hope this helps,


Kieren McCarthy 01.24.08 at 11:46 am

Ban Anna,

I don’t know where you are getting these ideas from but I would very strongly suggest you come to an ICANN meeting and discuss them because you are way off the mark.

I am happy to talk it all through but your tone is so aggressive I’m worried it would just rile you all the more.


Anonymous 01.24.08 at 12:30 pm

Oh yes, we shouldn’t notice any problems when ICANN needs to have “the lawyers” put something together for the registrants to keep informed.

You’ve been chasing Medina? What about back when ICANN helped Registerfly and GoDaddy make the big switcheroo with the RegFly user database? Or was ICANN not involved with all that like we were told?

We were taken advantage of months ago! Peoples money was practically stolen from them along with their domains. How was this fixed? More domains were stolen and the money switched hands to a bigger company! Hurraaaaaaaaay!!!!!! Oh wait- that’s not what the registrants wanted… And it doesn’t make sense that this is what ICANN wanted.

That’s okay though ICANN has lots of useless crap to fill in the everydays and confuse the registrants into thinking that ICANN is here to protect them and make the internet a better place.

Thanks ICANN for all that you haven’t done. The less you do the better! I hope some day that this won’t be true.

Kieren McCarthy 01.24.08 at 1:26 pm

I have to assume from the use of grammar and the fact you are following a slightly obscure development on the Internet that this response comes from an adult, but good lord, it is so petulant it’s barely worth responding to.

If you have questions, ask them, and I will get the answers, but this kind of response is just ridiculous.


David Wrixon 01.25.08 at 11:19 am

Ban Anna,

This is complete rubbish. The US is a major source of spam for all holders of dot Com domains.

David Wrixon 01.25.08 at 11:25 am

It is America that needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

If they are ever going to get out of the financial mess they are in they need to stop talking to the Chinese, Japanese, Russian and others very loudly in English, and start marketing in the culturally sensitive manner other nations have been doing so for years. There is more to the American Trade Deficit than just producing over priced crap products.

Kieren McCarthy 01.25.08 at 2:08 pm

While there’s nothing I like more than tirading against entire nations, reducing societies to little more than a few characteristics and then mocking them for your own inaccurate reduction, could we try to keep comments somewhere near the Internet?

IDNs make the Internet a truly global medium. I think this is a good thing. ICANN thinks this a good thing. And a few billion others, once they have it, will soon think it is a good thing.

To aide in this process, ICANN has made some glossaries so we are all able to use consistent terms while trying to bridge over language divides. If you follow the link on the post, you can find them.


bob 02.04.08 at 8:21 am

The English language issue is just today’s incarnation of the common language problem that has plagued humans forever. In the past , in Europe, for example, French and Latin served as a common language at different times. Common language has been used for dominance, which is why most people are unhappy with it, but it also serves as way for people whose native languages are different to communicate.

The issues of commonality and dominace should be kept separate in these sorts of discussions – one promotes good, the other not so much.

dee 02.15.08 at 7:26 pm

“3) Get some proper legal and procedural framework so that issues such as Registerfly are properly dealt with.” – I totally agree

Ralph 02.22.08 at 9:14 am

Wow it’s the first time I’ve read through Icann blogs and I find a flame war which the author is involved in, so professional.

Kieren McCarthy 02.22.08 at 9:42 am

I detect a note of sarcasm in your comment, Ralph.

The blog is what the blog is. The ICANN community is often robust in its comments; in which case, on this blog at least, we are robust in our responses.

People seem to appreciate a bit of frankness and honesty – at least that’s what I constantly hear from people.

You’ll find the public participation site at and of course the main site at are much straighter and so more likely to be what you’re looking for.

Hope this helps.


bwhhisc 03.05.08 at 4:43 pm

QUOTE: The ICANN community is often robust in its comments; in which case, on this blog at least, we are robust in our responses.

Good to have Kieren and others here on the ICANN blog to give straight forward answers. Like it has been repeated over and over, on various ICANN blogs, get involved, attend ICANN meetings, join committees and help make a difference.

Regarding the suggestion ot split the internet. This would have disasterous economic results for most export countries around the world, particularly 3rd world countries who stand to benefit most from worldwide internet commerce opportunities.

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