Progress evident in IDN/EAI implementation

The business program of the first day of TLDCON 2020 began with the session on Internationalized Domain Names: Global and Regional Initiatives in Universal Acceptance. Maria Kolesnikova, chief analyst at the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, who moderated the discussion, spoke about the development of IDNs in Russia, citing the events and projects carried out by the center aimed at promoting Cyrillic domains and addressing universal acceptance issues.

“There are over 4.5 billion users on the internet who speak and write in various languages – and the content for these users must also be multilingual. So today we are witnessing a broad internationalization of the internet – and we are talking not only about content in national languages, but also about the internationalization of most network identifiers such as domain names, email addresses, and accounts,” Kolesnikova said.

Dusan Stojicevic (UASG) detailed the structure and activities of the global Universal Acceptance Steering Group, as well as local initiatives and working groups on UA. “UASG is doing a great job on a global level – both in terms of documentation and in terms of initiatives for the technical community. As members of the regional group, we are trying to adapt those initiatives, to transfer them to our country and tell our developers about them in our native language. To do this, we have created a project, Поддерживаю.РФ, to adapt the universal acceptance principles to Cyrillic domain names, primarily under .РФ,” Kolesnikova added.

Manal Ismail (ICANN) shared the experience of Egypt – how that country's government institutions are approaching universal acceptance problems, their projects and emerging challenges, and what results they plan to achieve. Giovanni Mauro Seppia (EURid) presented the IDN World Report 2020, and also talked about the development of EURid-managed domains .eu, .eeu and .ευ. Anna Karakhanyan (Internet Society NGO Armenia) spoke about regional initiatives to introduce universal acceptance in Armenia.

Summing up the discussion, Maria Kolesnikova noted the obvious recent progress in the implementation of IDN/EAI standards in software. “Experts collaborate both globally and locally to facilitate and simplify the implementation process for developers and system administrators. But everyone's participation is important! And to fully support IDN/EAI, as well as New gTLDs, we need to achieve its widest possible implementation in a larger percentage of software. We continue working,” she concluded.

The first day of TLDCON 2020 ended with a panel discussion on the main regulatory trends on the internet led by Leonid Todorov (APTLD). He asked the panelists to share which regulatory innovations of the past year they considered critical for the domain industry in our region.

Participating in the discussion were: Arya Ulanov (Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Federation); Shavkat Sabirov (Internet Association of Kazakhstan); Dejan Dukic (RNIDS); Polina Malaja (CENTR); Grigori Saghyan (ISOC Armenia) and Iveta Skujina (NIC.LV).

Dejan Dukic cited the amendments to Serbia’s national law on national security in 2017. Grigori Saghyan noted that the domain has become an element of critical infrastructure, but at the same time, domains are still poorly regulated in many countries. Iveta Skujina shared how Latvia's internet legislation is being brought into line with European law – directives have been adopted on network security and on consumer protection, the latter stipulating a step-by-step process for deleting domain names. A law on digital services is being prepared for adoption. It will cover domains and the domain industry.

The conference audience took an active part in the discussion, asked questions using Zoom chat during the online meeting, and also participated in the interactive voting. During the session, speakers and participants talked about why ccTLDs have found themselves in the epicenter of a regulatory storm, whether the industry will transition to tight regulation, and to what extent the traditional self-regulation can be preserved in the industry.

TLDCON 2020 will continue tomorrow, on September 8 – join our online broadcast on the website or follow our news.

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