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Old 5th June 2006, 11:09 PM
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Multilingual Internet Names Consortium MINC

If this was posted earlier here I missed it, but interesting reading and some good names to be speakers at our IDN conference!
http://www.minc.org/news.aspx?id=347&lang=en
Their website has more info and articles.

MINC International Coordination Mechanism Council (MINC ICMC) leads global effort to halt and reverse Internet fragmentation.
Thursday - May 18 - 2006

An ITU-UNESCO Symposium on Promoting a Multilingual Internet ended last Thursday. Leaders and experts on multilingualism held extensive discussions on how to promote a truly multilingual Internet, based on the principles in UN Declarations from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

“We are very pleased with the success of this symposium in promoting the multilingual Internet," said co-organiser of the ITU-UNESCO symposium and Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU, Mr Houlin Zhao. He added, "In the ITU, we recognise the needs highlighted by the symposium speakers. We fully support the 'right to communicate by all linguistic human communities' as a fundamental right in the Information Society."

In one key session entitled Advancing the Deployment of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), chaired by MINC, leading proponents and operators of multilingual top level domains with non-English Scripts reported on the status of their respective Internet namespaces. These populous scripts include Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Farsi, Korean, Tamil, among others. They discussed in detail the various islands of Internet namespaces that they have created – created while they waited for ICANN to offer top-level domain names (TLDs) in their individual script.

Cho Koan Hyun, CEO DigitalNames Inc, who holds a patent in Korea on multilingual Internet keywords, said, "Like keywords, IDN’s are great and make it really easy for our Korean users to surf the Internet without trying to remember an alien string of English characters in a web address. Young people below the age of 12 and above 60 will find it a great help."

Former Stanford professor S Subbiah, Board member of MINC and early founder of Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), explained, “You cannot blame these people for going ahead and deploying IDNs on their own. They have been waiting for Godot, and IDN TLDs have not come.” Meanwhile, billions are being shut out of the resources on the Internet because non-native web and email addresses are barriers to anyone who requires non-Roman script.

In the past, MINC has warned of the dangers from local deployments of IDNs in an uncoordinated manner. MINC has called for its members to exercise restraint while awaiting IDN standards and coordinated deployment. Now that standards have been approved by the IETF since 2003, and noting the tremendous benefits to their citizens, many regions were not willing to delay any longer. Risking deployment of IDNs without formal authorisation from ICANN, local authorities such as China and the Arabic countries have taken up the initiative to serve their local needs.

As reported in "The Internet Splits up" (Newsweek International May 15-22, 2006, by Rana Foroohar), if such uncoordinated deployments by these sovereign nations proliferate, they may cause the collapse of the Internet naming system.

By forming the International Coordination Mechanism Council (ICMC), MINC has now created a platform for tracking these IDN deployments. The system enables cross-resolution and aims to prevent TLD collisions. ICMC will help avoid collapse of the Internet namespace by halting and reversing the fragmentation that is already underway.

Sergey Sharikov, CEO of Regtime Ltd, which deploys Russian language IDNs using Cyrillic scripts, said, “This is a great platform for me to meet people who speak the other languages that also use Cyrillic.” He noted that a delegate from Macedonia whom he met at the conference will now be sharing data with him on how to avoid collisions in namespace between them. They will also cross-resolve. (Macedonian uses the Cyrillic script.)

In a statement May 11th on the dangers of a fragmented Internet, Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) Commission on E-business, IT and Telecoms (EBITT) and former Vice chairman of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (UNICT) Task Force, said on the ICC website, "Unless this process is carefully and centrally implemented, domain names may lead to fragmentation and threaten the stability, integrity and security of the Internet."

On the MINC ICMC initiative he later said, "This is the kind of bold, inventive, conscientious, and breakthrough action that the global community needs and has been waiting for. MINC inspires the global community to coordinate a multilingual Internet, to make it a reality and bridge the digital divide. I am especially moved by the timeliness of the MINC ICMC initiative to halt and reverse fragmentation. I congratulate MINC Chairman Fattal for his leadership and vision and the approach they have adopted. It makes the MINC ICMC accountable to the international community, based on respect and humility to local communities, rather than taking a single authority-approach." Mr. Abu Ghazaleh concluded “we express our full support to MINC ICMC, and encourage others to do the same.”

MINC Chairman and CEO Khaled Fattal noted, “Our efforts to heal the multiple splits of the Internet should help stop the spread of uncoordinated deployments of local language TLDs. We hope to reverse the Internet fragmentation that has already taken place. We aim to do this before any collisions in namespace begin, when they become virtually impossible to remedy.”

He added, “At MINC we are not interested in the blame game – how this was allowed to happen.” He urged all TLD deployments to come forward and join MINC ICMC to ensure international interoperability. Then all can share others’ deployments, exchange data and work together to preserve the global integrity of the Internet. “Going forward, we hope that we can meet the aspirations of the multilingual masses of the world by convening an equitable and respectful process for authorising IDN TLDs. This caters to needs that have been clearly enunciated for many years prior to this symposium,” Mr Fattal added.

Mr Zhao concluded, “ITU is one of the first supporters of MINC ICMC, and we want to work with MINC and its ICMC initiative at many levels to create a Multilingual Internet.”

About MINC

Formed in 2000, MINC is the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium, aims to promote a multilingual Internet through the facilitation of research development, education and deployments of Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) and other naming systems of Internet navigation. MINC’s work dates back to mid 90’s to promote the Multilingualization of the Internet, the internationalization of Internet names including but not limited to multilingual Internet domain names and keywords. Over the years, MINC has established a wide range of links with international organizations, stakeholder organizations and other processes including The United Nations, the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), ICANN, ITU, WIPO, IETF, as well as language groups such as JDNA (Japanese), CDNA (Chinese), INFITT (Tamil), Euro-LINC (European Languages), CYINC (Cyrillic), GLWG (Georgian), RLWG (Russian ) as well as The Arabic language and scripts WG (Arabic) and ULWG (Urdu). Our language groups develop their own language and variant tables, and coordinate with each other on these tables. They also discuss other IDN related issues like the development of Dispute Resolution Policies and the use of IDN in software applications. For more information about MINC, please refer to the website at http://www.minc.org or contact MINC secretariat at sec04@minc.org.

About MINC ICMC

Formed in 2006, MINC's International Coordination Mechanism Council (ICMC) aims to coordinate with all local authorities and jurisdictions and known operators of IDN TLDs in various local jurisdictions, for a an equitable multilingual Internet and information society based on mutual respect, local empowerment and the right of all people for self-E-determination as a function of their human rights.

ICMC Technical Coordination;

This MINC ICMC ad hoc committee coordinates the technical parameters involved in supporting a truly multilingual domain name system. All deployments of IDN should be Internet RFC- compliant
and registered and tracked with MINC's IDN database.

About MINC Toolkit for resolving all known IDN domain names

Tracked IDN deployments allows a MINC Toolkit to be regularly updated so that downloaded toolkits can enable end-users, institutions and Internet service providers to set up a DNS server that knows of existing ASCII TLDs and new IDN TLDs. This will allow global cross resolution of IDN TLD deployments.


Press Contact
Email: sec04@minc.org
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