Tag Archives: IDNs

Verisign Launches Hebrew gTLD As It Struggles To Make An Impact With IDN gTLDs

Verisign has launched a phased rollout of the קום. new gTLD with a Sunrise period having commenced on 30 July and running through until 4 September. The registry operator for .com and .net has struggled to make an impact with the first 3 of their IDN gTLDs that launched into General Availability 2 years ago as registrations haven’t even made the 15,000 mark to date.

The Hebrew script internationalised domain name is a transliteration of .com, but also translates to “place” or “get up” if you use an online translation service. It takes to 11 the number of IDN new generic top level domains from Verisign. 3 of these have made it to General Availability – .コム, Japanese for .com, which has 6,570 registrations according to nTLDstats, .닷컴 (Korean for .com – 6,470) and .닷넷 (Korean for .net – 1,557). The remaining 7 are yet to launch and there are 14,600 domain names registered across the gTLDs.

The קום. gTLD is aimed at companies wanting to build their credibility, grow their business and expand their customer base within the Hebrew-speaking community. A domain name in קום. can also be used to redirect users/potential customers to company social media or e-commerce pages. Moreover, registering a Hebrew domain name in קום. can help make business and individual website addresses easier to type and remember for native Hebrew speakers. Notably, a Verisign survey conducted in Israel in September 2017, comprised of 150 decision makers in small and medium-sized businesses with up to 30 employees, found that 69 percent of respondents would register a domain name that’s fully in Hebrew if they could.

Prospective registrants who wish to register a domain name during the Sunrise Period for קום. must have a valid Signed Mark Data (SMD) file from ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse at the time of registration. During the Sunrise Period, these prospective registrants will be able to register each available second-level domain name (SLDN) in קום., that is an exact match of each SLDN permitted by their SMD file(s). All registrations during the Sunrise Period will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following the Sunrise Period, there will be a Priority Access Program Period for קום. – an exclusive registration period during which eligible .com registrants will have the exclusive right to register the SLDN in קום. that is an exact match of their existing SLDN registered in .com, provided that the registrant registers the matching SLDN in קום. through the registrar that is the registrar-of-record for the registrant’s existing SLDN in .com. All registrations during the Priority Access Program Period for קום. are subject to availability and the applicable registry policies.

A Landrush Program Period will follow the Priority Access Program Period for קום. and will be open to all potential registrants to register their domain names on a first-come, first-served basis in advance of the General Registration Period for an additional fee. Landrush will last approximately five weeks and will be followed by the General Registration Period.

The registration periods for קום. currently are:

  • Sunrise Period: July 30, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Sept. 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • Priority Access Program Period: Sept. 5, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Oct. 1, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • Land Rush Period: Oct. 2, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Nov. 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • General Registration Period Start Date: Nov. 5, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC
  • Trademark Claims Period: Sept. 5, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Feb. 3, 2019 at 23:59:59 UTC (Mandatory
  • Trademark Claims Services during Priority Access Program Period, Land Rush Period, and first 90 days of General Registration Period).

Both IDN and ASCII SLDNs may be registered in קום.

IDN Homographs Increasingly Used To Commit Phishing And Other Malicious Activities: Farsight

Internationalised Domain Name homographs, or lookalike domain names, which are easy to register and often undetected by traditional security solutions, are increasingly being used to commit phishing and other malicious activities a report released this week by Farsight Security has found. Unsurprisingly .com, where most global brands register their domain names, was found the TLD with the most problems, accounting for over half of the IDN homographs. Continue reading IDN Homographs Increasingly Used To Commit Phishing And Other Malicious Activities: Farsight

ICANN: Call for Experts to Study the Application of Root Zone Label Generation Rules

ICANN is forming a technical group to study how to apply the Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR) for the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) and IDN generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The study group will be composed of technical subject matter experts on IDNs and the RZ-LGR from the Supporting Organizations (SOs), the Advisory Committees (ACs) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). The ICANN Board will consider recommendations developed by this study group to determine next steps.

Expert’s nominations should be emailed to IDNProgram@icann.org by 28 February 2018

Background

IDN TLDs have been a priority for the ICANN Board for several years, based on the input from the community. The variant labels for IDN TLDs have been an important component for some script communities. Therefore, in 2010, the ICANN Board asked the ICANN org and the community to investigate feasible approaches for variant labels of IDN TLDs, while putting the variant TLDs on hold until the work was completed.

In 2012, the community examined various case studies for six scripts.The examination noted in the Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB], that there were two items to be addressed: (1) there was no universally acceptable definition of what may constitute a variant relationship between IDN TLD labels at the time; and (2) there was no variant management mechanism defined. Following this report, the ICANN org and the community developed the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels [PDF, 1.39 MB] (RZ-LGR Procedure). This procedure defined what constitutes a variant relationship between IDN TLD labels. in 2013, the ICANN Board endorsed this procedure and asked the ICANN org and community to undertake it.

To date Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Korean, Lao and Thai script GPs have completed and submitted their RZ-LGR proposals. From these, Arabic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Lao and Thai scripts have already been integrated into the second version of the RZ-LGR. Many of the remaining script communities are now in the process of finalizing their work.

With the availability of the RZ-LGR, the ICANN Board is now asking the ICANN community to recommend how to apply the RZ-LGR in a harmonized way to IDN TLDs in order to address the first item noted in the Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB], as a prerequisite to determine possible variant management mechanism.

Study Group Expertise and Composition

The study group members should have expertise in one or more of the following areas relevant for the IDN TLD labels.

  • IDNA2008, RFC 6912 and RFC 7940
  • Procedure to Develop and Maintain Root Zone Label Generation Rules
  • Script-based RZ-LGR proposal development
  • Technical evaluation for IDN new gTLDs and IDN ccTLDs
  • Unicode security considerations
  • IDN TLD usability challenges

The group will tentatively be composed of ten members: GNSO (2), ccNSO (2), SSAC (2), ALAC (2) and IAB (2).

Tentative Scope of Work

The study group will address the following topics focused on applying the RZ-LGR for existing and future IDN TLDs from a technical perspective. As appropriate, the study group may add more relevant topics.

  1. Validation of future TLDs using RZ-LGR
  2. Definition of variant TLDs and their disposition based on RZ-LGR and whether policy could further reduce allocatable variant TLDs
  3. Application of RZ-LGR on reserved IDN TLD labels
  4. Harmonized application of RZ-LGR across IDN TLDs, including IDN gTLDs and IDN ccTLDs
  5. Remaining requirements of security and stability evaluation of future IDN TLDs by the DNS Stability Panel after applying RZ-LGR

*This study is not intended to review the RZ-LGR Procedure developed by the community and endorsed by the ICANN Board.

Tentative Work Plan

Tentative steps and timeline are listed below:

  • Formation – March 2018
  • Analysis and identification of relevant issues – May 2018
  • Development of recommendations – August 2018
  • Finalization based on public comment – September 2018
  • Publication – October 2018

The group is anticipated to meet on a weekly basis and finalize the report in a period of six months.

About ICANN

ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2018-02-08-en

EURid Report Finds IDNs Lead to More Diverse Content

Internationalised domain names are a key component of a truly multilingual internet. It’s slow progress making the internet, and the Domain Name System, truly multilingual. The introduction of IDNs started around a decade ago with hybridised IDNs – that is the top level domain being in ASCII characters and IDN characters available for the second, or sometimes third, level.

The slow progress has been outlined in EURid’s recently released 2017 IDN World Report which updated on progress of their introduction. As of December 2016, more than 480 TLDs were offering IDNs (at top and second level). 400 of these were new gTLDs that were offering IDNs, including more than 30 IDN new gTLDs.

When hybrid IDNs were introduced they only partially addressed the issue. It was a satisfactory outcome for Latin-based scripts used by most European languages, where the IDN element would commonly reflect accents, or other diacritical marks on Latin characters. But, as the report notes, for speakers of languages not based on Latin scripts (for example, Chinese, Arabic), the hybrid IDN/ASCII domains were unsatisfactory. Right-to-left scripts, such as Arabic and Hebrew created bi-directional domain names when combined with left-to-right TLD extensions, requiring users to have a familiarity with both their own language, and Latin scripts in order to navigate the internet. This requires the internet users to not only be familiar with Latin characters but also requires internet users to change script when typing in web addresses, as well as potentially confusing the strict hierarchy of the DNS.

As of December 2016 there were approximately 8.7 million registered IDNs, making up just 3% of the world’s 331 million registered domain names. However growth is impressive, up 28% in the year from December 2015 to December 2016. The spike in growth was significantly affected by second level registrations under the Chinese ccTLD, .cn, which grew by more than 400% during the year.  Discounting the contribution of .cn, the underlying growth rate during 2016 was 4%, less than the previous year’s growth rate of 9%.

According to the report, where IDNs are in use, the language of web content is more diverse than it is with traditional ASCII domains. There is a long way to go before there is the same linguistic diversity online is as there is offline, but it appears IDNs are helping redress the balance, at least as far as the most-spoken languages are concerned.

As a result of EURid’s analysis of the language of content associated with IDNs, the report states:

  • IDNs help to enhance linguistic diversity in cyberspace
  • The IDN market is more balanced in favour of emerging economies
  • IDNs are accurate predictors of the language of web content.

In previous reports EURid have noted that language of web content tends to follow IDN script. IDNs accurately signal what languages will be found. The analysis in 2017, like in previous years, found the relationship between language of web content and IDN (gTLDs plus .eu) script is not random. There is a very high correlation between language of web content and the script of IDN associated with it. In other words the report notes, IDNs are in practice accurate predictors of the language in which their web content appears. Only English, which is commonly spoken around the world, is associated with a large number of scripts (Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic, Han, Katakana, Hiragana, Hangul, Greek, and others), and displays the more random pattern predicted in the “no connection” hypothesis.

EURid’s report found that in 2017 there has been a growth in Chinese language associated with IDNs, which reflects the growth of IDNs under .cn during 2016.

When it comes to registered IDNs just 3 scripts represent 90% of all registered IDNs: Han (associated with Chinese language), Latin, and Cyrillic script. Han, Katakana and Hiragana (associated with Japanese language), and Hangul (associated with Korean language) together represent 8% of IDNs. Major world scripts such as Arabic and Devanagari which support some of the world’s top 10 most spoken languages are barely represented in IDNs.

Since 2014, there has been a relative increase in the proportion of Han script domains from 34% to 48%, Han, Katakana and Hiragana has increased from 2% to 5%. In the same period, there has been a relative decline in the proportion of Latin script IDNs, from 41% to 30%, and Cyrillic script which has declined by 2% to 12% since 2014.

The increased popularity of Han script IDNs is attributable to strong growth of second level IDNs in the Chinese ccTLD, .cn.

EURid also has its own IDN in addition to their .eu – .ею. As part of their application for .ею, EURid committed to each IDN domain name in the EURid stable would be a single script as part of their application. As a result 1,430 existing Cyrillic script second level .eu IDNs were cloned under the new TLD. In addition, 943 new domain names were registered under the new TLD and by the close of 2016, there were a total of 2,373 .ею registrations.

Sri Lankan Community Preparing for a Multilingual Internet Using Local Scripts

ICANN logoICANN and local experts in policy, technical and linguistic fields convened in Colombo today [12 Dec] to introduce the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) program and launch the Sinhala Generation Panel (GP). The launch signifies an exciting future where the local community contributes towards developing secure and stable access to the Internet in Sinhala.

The Asia Pacific region is linguistically diverse. Of the 6,800 languages in the world, about half of them or 3,500 are spoken in APAC. 21 of the top 30 most spoken languages in the world are used in the region. This diversity adds challenges to the Internet domain name space.

IDNs are domain names represented by letters or characters from different scripts and writing systems. They offer the possibility of using the domain names in languages across the globe, including Sinhala, Tamil, Thai, Chinese, Hindi, and others. Thus, providing a truly multilingual Internet with greater flexibility and opportunities for billions of users,” said Sarmad Hussain, ICANN‘s IDN Programs Director.

“The ability for Internet users to come online in their native languages and scripts is a significant development for the Internet. As Sinhala is a commonly used language in Sri Lanka, the work by the Sinhala GP will lay the groundwork for allowing complete domain names in the Sinhalese language,” added Hussain.

The Sinhala GP comprises two Co-Chairs and a number of local community representatives from the policy, linguistic fields, as well as members with technical expertise in Sinhala language computing, Unicode and the Internet’s domain name system.

Harsha Wijayawardhana, Co-Chair of the Sinhala GP, said, “We are all extremely excited about this new development. The Sinhala GP will work on developing root zone label generation rules for the Sinhala script. There will be significant technical work involved, such as developing the rules for computers to understand how to form correct top-level domain names in Sinhala script. Our efforts will help to form the basis for allowing complete domain names in the Sinhala language.”

Earlier this week, members of the Sinhala GP attended a workshop to discuss the work plan and next steps. The Neo-Brahmi GP is also in Colombo this week. They are developing label generation rules for nine Neo-Brahmi scripts including Tamil, the other commonly used language in Sri Lanka. When both the Sinhala and Neo-Brahmi GPs’ work are completed, Sri Lankans can look forward to accessing the Internet’s domain name system using domain names in their scripts and languages.

Work has been completed by the respective GPs for the Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Lao and Thai scripts, and is underway for many more, including Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Korean, and Latin scripts. ICANN is currently calling for volunteers to form GPs for these four scripts: Hebrew, Myanmar, Tibetan and Thaana.

Enabling a Multilingual Internet – Additional Information

In addition to developing rules to form valid top-level domains (TLDs) in the local script, many computing systems need to be upgraded as they do not recognize or appropriately process new domain names, primarily because the TLD or IDN may be more than three characters in length or in an alternate format. The same is true for email addresses that incorporate these new extensions.

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), supported by ICANN, is a community-led, Internet industry-wide initiative working on creating awareness and identifying and resolving problems associated with the universal acceptance of domain names. To learn more, or report an issue with Universal Acceptance, please visit www.uasg.tech.

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For more information on IDNs, please visit here.
For more information on UA, please visit here.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/resources/press-material/release-2-2017-12-12-en

ICANN: IDN Implementation Guidelines – Second Public Comment

Brief Overview

ICANN logoPurpose: The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Implementation Guidelines relate to the IDN registration policies and practices, designed to minimize the risk of cybersquatting and consumer confusion, to cater to the interests of communities using local languages and scripts.

Following the Call for Community Experts, a Working Group (WG) was formed in October 2015 to review the current version (3.0) of the IDN Implementation Guidelines, last updated in 2011. The WG updated the Guidelines and conducted the first public comment on them in March 2017.

Current Status: Based on the feedback received from the community, the WG has further updated the draft guidelines. The WG is releasing the latest draft version of the IDN Implementation Guidelines 4.0 [PDF, 316 KB] to get general feedback as well as the response to some specific queries highlighted in this draft being released.

Next Steps: The IDN Guidelines WG (IDNGWG) will review and incorporate the comments received from the community. The final version of the Guidelines published by the WG will be presented to ICANN Board of Directors for approval.

Section I: Description and Explanation

Since publication of the latest version of the Guidelines in 2011, there have been changes in the terminology around IDNs and IDN tables (e.g. see Appendix 2 of Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB]), as well as a definition of the machine readable format of the IDN tables called the Label Generation Ruleset (LGR). Additional analysis and data are also available, including Maximal Starting Repertoire (MSR), Root Zone Label Generation Rules, informational RFC 6912 and revised IANA IDNA tables for Unicode 6.3.0. Finally there have been recommendations for consistency and manageability of variants across different levels in a domain name, e.g. in the User Experience Study [PDF, 1.38 MB] and related SSAC comments in SAC 60 [PDF, 655 KB] report. Based on the experience with implementing IDNs accumulated since 2011, GNSO Council and its members asked ICANN to update these guidelines.

A Call for Community Experts was announced to invite volunteers to update these Guidelines in July 2015 and IDNGWG was finalized in October 2015. IDNGWG comprises of expert volunteer members from ALAC, ccNSO, GNSO and SSAC. These members have been regularly meeting since 2015, to review and updated the Guidelines. Details of the membership, email archive, call recordings and summaries of the working group meetings are available at the wiki page.  IDNGWG has been interacting with the community during ICANN meetings. The WG presented the initial issues list [PDF, 334 KB] to the community at ICANN 55 and an interim draft [PDF, 314 KB] of the Guidelines at ICANN 57. Based on the feedback received, the WG developed a complete draft [PDF, 364 KB] and released it for first public comment which was presented at ICANN 58. The WG received multiple comments which have been incorporated in this latest draft [PDF, 316 KB] which is now being released for another round of public comment before finalization.

The main audience of the Guidelines is Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries that offer or plan to offer registrations of IDNs under their Registry Agreements. For other registries (e.g. Country Code Top Level Domain Name registries) this document is intended as the best current practice. These Guidelines are also intended for registrars offering registration of IDNs.

Section II: Background

The IDN Implementation Guidelines have been updated when there was a change to relevant protocols or other demand from the community, but not on a regular basis. As there are contractual obligations associated with the Guidelines, updating them may have a significant impact. To date, there have been five versions of the Guidelines, available through the link: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/implementation-guidelines-2012-02-25-en. The current Version 3.0 was developed through a community based effort and finalized on 2 September 2011. This was endorsed by the ICANN Board of Directors on 28 October 2011.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Open Date: 19 Oct 2017 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 10 Dec 2017 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 1 Feb 2018 23:59 UTC

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/idn-guidelines-2017-10-19-en

ICANN Announces Successful String Evaluation for Mauritania IDN ccTLD

ICANN logoICANN today (3 Oct) announced the successful completion of String Evaluation of the proposed Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) country coded top-level domain (ccTLD) string for Mauritania.

Details of the evaluation are provided here: icann.org/en/resources/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion.

The IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) ccTLD Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009. First requests were received starting 16 November 2009. The process enables countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than Latin. IDN ccTLD requesters must fulfill a number of requirements:

  • the script used to represent the IDN ccTLDs must be non-Latin;
  • the languages used to express the IDN ccTLDs must be official in the corresponding country or territory; and
  • a specific set of technical requirements must be met (as evaluated by an external DNS Stability Panel comprised of DNS and IDN experts).

The request and evaluation processes entail three steps:

  • Preparation (by the requester in the country / territory): Community consensus is built for which IDN ccTLD to apply for, how it is run, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing and gathering all the required supporting documentation. Requests are submitted through an online system together with additional material supporting the process at http://forms.icann.org/idn/apply.php
  • String Evaluation: Requests are evaluated in accordance with the technical and linguistic requirements for the IDN ccTLD string(s) criteria described above.
  • String Delegation: Requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs. Requesters submit string delegation requests to IANA root zone management: root-mgmt@iana.org.

With this announcement, 58 string requests for a total of 40 countries/territories have successfully passed through the String Evaluation. Of these, 56 IDN ccTLDs representing 38 countries/territories are delegated in the DNS root zone, with the remainder either readying to apply, or actively applying for delegation of the string. Up-to-date information about the IDN Fast Track Program will continue to be provided on the Fast Track Process web page at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/fast-track-2012-02-25-en.

ICANN looks forward to enabling the availability of non-Latin country-code domains for countries that meet the Fast Track Process requirements. ICANN will continue to accept new string evaluation requests in the Fast Track Process. Staff support is available to help all countries and territories interested in participating in the Fast Track Process. Please email IDNProgram@icann.org for any inquiries for participation.

About ICANN

ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2017-10-03-en

Verisign Report Shows Significant Slowing of Domain Registration Growth

Once upon a time not that many years ago, the growth in domain name registrations each year was like growth in the Chinese economy – well over 10%. These days the growth rate overall is nothing to be sneezed. In the year to the end of March, registrations around the world grew by 3.7% (11.8 million) to 330.6 million across all top level domains (TLDs) according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief. It was only in the preceding year, to the end of March 2016, that registrations had grown 11%.

OK, Verisign add a proviso when looking back on registrations for registrations to the end of March 2016 for the .tk (Tokelau) country code top level domain (ccTLD) with a significant re-estimation downwards of its zone file size. As a result total global domain name registrations were changed from 326.4 million to 318.8 million. However these 10%+ annual registration increases were standard for several years.

The change in of annual registration increases of below 5% though are likely to be standard for some years to come as the significant growth is coming from ccTLDs in developing countries and within new gTLDs, although even here due to some new gTLDs such as .xyz having hugely discounted promotions, renewal rates are very low and even declining. However in total new gTLD registrations have stabilised around the 27 million mark for the last 6 weeks according to nTLDstats.com. As of 31 March new gTLD registrations were near their peak of 29.1 million. They peak at 29.4 million in mid-April.

For the quarter, registrations grew only 0.4% (1.3 million) to 31 March, which indicated an even greater slowdown in registration growth.

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 143.6 million domain name registrations in the domain name base in the first quarter of 2017 – 128.4 million for .com and 15.2 million for .net. This represents a 0.8% increase year over year, almost entirely due to increase in .com.

Among ccTLDs, .cn (China) has regained the crown of the largest and now has 21.4 million registrations to be the second largest of all TLDs while .tk has 18.6 million with .de (Germany) next with 16.2 million. Following in the top ten TLDs is .net then .uk (United Kingdom – 10.6m), .org (10.4m), .ru (Russian Federation – 6.4m), .nl (Netherlands – 5.7m) and then the largest of the new gTLDs, .xyz (5.6m).

Growth in ccTLDs was only 0.3% for the quarter, or 408,242 registrations, and 1.7% (2.4 million) for the year. Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations increased approximately 568,242 in the first quarter of 2017, a 0.5 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 4.6 million domain name registrations, or 3.9 percent, year over year.

At the end of the first quarter there were 294 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 64.7 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.

For the new gTLDs registrations totalled 25.4 million as of 31 March, 7.7% of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs represented 64.1% of all new gTLD domain name registrations.

Volume 14, Issue 2, of the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief is available for download from:
http://www.verisign.com/assets/domain-name-report-Q12017.pdf

An archive of recent reports is available from:
http://www.verisign.com/en_US/domain-names/dnib/domain-name-industry-brief-reports/index.xhtml

ICANN: Internationalised Domain Name Implementation Guidelines

ICANN logoBrief Overview

Purpose: The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Implementation Guidelines relate to the IDN registration policies and practices, designed to minimize the risk of cybersquatting and consumer confusion, to cater to the interests of communities using local languages and scripts. Following the Call for Community Experts, a Working Group (WG) was formed in to review the current version (3.0) of the IDN Implementation Guidelines, last updated in 2011.

Current Status: The WG has finalized its work and solicits feedback of the community on the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Internationalized Domain Names 4.0 [PDF, 363 KB], the proposed update to the current Guidelines

Next Steps: The IDN Guidelines WG (IDNGWG) will review and incorporate the comments received from the community and finalize the next version of the IDN Implementation Guidelines. The final version of the Guidelines published by the WG will be presented to ICANN Board of Directors for approval.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

Since publication of the latest version of the Guidelines in 2011, there have been changes in the terminology around IDNs and IDN tables (e.g. see Appendix 2 of Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB]), as well as a definition of the machine readable format of the IDN tables called the Label Generation Ruleset (LGR). Additional analysis and data are also available, including Maximal Starting Repertoire (MSR), Root Zone Label Generation Rules, informational RFC 6912 and revised IANA IDNA tables for Unicode 6.3.0. Finally there have been recommendations for consistency and manageability of variants across different levels in a domain name, e.g. in the User Experience Study [PDF, 1.38 MB] and related SSAC comments in SAC 60 [PDF, 655 KB] report. Based on the experience with implementing IDNs accumulated since 2011, GNSO Council and its members asked ICANN to update these guidelines.

A Call for Community Experts was announced to invite volunteers to update these Guidelines in July 2015 and IDNGWG was finalized in October 2015. IDNGWG comprises of expert volunteer members from ALAC, ccNSO, GNSO and SSAC. These members have been regularly meeting since 2015, to review and updated the Guidelines. Details of the membership, email archive, call recordings and summaries of the working group meetings are available at the wiki page. IDNGWG has been interacting with the community during ICANN meetings. The WG presented the initial issues list to the community at ICANN 55 and an interim draft of the Guidelines at ICANN 57. Based on the feedback received, the WG has updated and finalized the Guidelines.

The main audience of the Guidelines is Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries that offer or plan to offer registrations of IDNs under their Registry Agreements. For other registries (e.g. Country Code Top Level Domain Name registries) this document is intended as the best current practice. These Guidelines are also intended for registrars offering registration of IDNs.

Section II: Background

The IDN Implementation Guidelines have been updated when there was a change to relevant protocols or other demand from the community, but not on a regular basis. As there are contractual obligations associated with the Guidelines, updating them may have a significant impact. To date, there have been five versions of the Guidelines, available through the link: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/implementation-guidelines-2012-02-25-en. The current Version 3.0 was developed through a community based effort and finalized on 2 September 2011. This was endorsed by the ICANN Board of Directors on 28 October 2011.

Section III: Relevant Resources

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/idn-guidelines-2017-03-03-en

Domains Reach 326 Million With New gTLDs Now 5 Percent Of All Registrations

There were 326.4 million domain names registered across all top level domains (TLDs) around the world at the end of the first quarter 2016, an increase of approximately 12 million domain names, or 3.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign. Registrations have grown by 32.4 million, or 11 percent, year over year.As of 31 March, new gTLD registrations totalled 16.1 million, which represented 4.9 percent of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs represented over half (54.8%) of all new gTLD domain name registrations. The largest of the new gTLDs were .xyz and .top, which accounted for 16.5 and 11.1 percent of all new gTLD registrations respectively.Total country code TLD (ccTLD) registrations were 148.2 million domain names, a 2.6 percent increase quarter over quarter, and an 8.2 percent increase year over year. The top 10 ccTLDs as of 31 March were .tk (Tokelau), .cn (China), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth, reaching a combined total of approximately 142.5 million domain names in the domain name base in the first quarter of 2016. This represents a 7.1 percent increase year over year. The base of registered names in .com equalled 126.6 million names, while .net equalled 15.9 million names, the latter figure having being static for around three years.New .com and .net registrations totalled 10 million during the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2015, new .com and .net registrations totalled 8.7 million.There has also been a large jump in the growth of .com and .net domain names redirecting to popular global social media and e-commerce sites compared to Q1 2015. Weibo had the largest growth of 49 percent followed by LinkedIn (35%), Etsy (30%), Facebook (27%), Amazon.com (25%) and Twitter (23%). Verisign don’t give total numbers and for most at least it is likely to be growth from a comparatively small base.Combining gTLDs and ccTLDs, the largest by zone size were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .ru, .nl and .info. There were 291 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDN), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 67.4 percent of all ccTLD registrations.Regarding .tk, Verisign quotes from a Freenom news release that the Tokelauan ccTLD is a free ccTLD that provides free domain names to individuals and businesses. Revenue is generated by monetising expired domain names. Domain names no longer in use by the registrant or expired are taken back by the registry and the residual traffic is sold to advertising networks. As such, there are no deleted .tk domain names.It also means that while .tk is the largest ccTLD, it’s numbers are very misleading when it comes to actual usage and demand.