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Issues Facing the Internet Domain Name System. Asia Pacific Telecommunication Regulation Forum 15-17 May 2001 Phuket, Thailand. Robert Shaw <> ITU Internet Strategy and Policy Advisor International Telecommunication Union. Agenda.

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Issues Facing the Internet Domain Name System

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issues facing the internet domain name system

Issues Facing the Internet Domain Name System

Asia Pacific Telecommunication Regulation Forum 15-17 May 2001

Phuket, Thailand

Robert Shaw


ITU Internet Strategy and Policy Advisor

International Telecommunication Union

  • Brief Background on Domain Name System & ITU Role
  • Convergence in Addressing Systems
  • International Domain Names
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Dispute Resolution
the domain name system
The Domain Name System
  • What Internet users use to reference anything by name on the Internet 

  • The mechanism by which Internet software translates names to addresses and vice versa
dns name space
DNS Name Space
  • The name space is the structure of the DNS database: inverted tree with the root node at top
  • Each node has a label
    • The root node has a null label, written as “”
an analogy e 164
An Analogy: E.164
  • Root node maintained by the ITU (call it “+”)
  • Top level nodes = country codes (1, 81, etc)
  • Second level nodes = regional codes (1-808, 81-3, etc.)
domain name wars
Domain Name Wars
  • In 1995, US National Science Foundation permitted Network Solutions to charge fee for registration of domain names
  • Resultant controversy caused the US Government (Dept. of Commerce) to take a much more active role
    • Official US governmental policy (the White Paper) on Internet resource administration created
  • That policy resulted in the creation of ICANN
internet corporation for assigned names and numbers
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
  • California, USA, non-profit corporation, consisting of:
    • Supporting Organizations
      • Address Support Organization, Domain Name Support Organization, Protocol Support Organization
    • Board of 19 members
      • 9 elected by public membership
      • 3 each by each of the SOs
      • 1 President/CEO
    • Set of Committees
      • Governmental Advisory Committee, Root Server Advisory Committee, etc. that advise the board
the dns root
The DNS Root
  • DNS protocol assumes consistent name space
    • Enforced by constraint of SINGLE root for DNS
    • Analogous to single root for E.164 numbering plan
  • ICANN/USG oversee modification of zone file that makes up DNS root
  • ‘Alternative roots’ to ICANN/USG system gaining popularity (e.g.,, multilingual systems)
    • Equivalent to multiple roots for E.164 plan
background on itu role
Background on ITU Role
  • ITU Plenipot Resolution 102: “Management of Internet Domain Names and Addresses”, instructs Secretary-General:
    • to take an active part in the international discussions and initiatives on the management of Internet domain names and addresses, which is being led by the private sector, with special attention to the activities conducted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), bearing in mind the purposes of the Union;
    • to report annually to the Council on the activities undertaken on this subject.
impact of the internet on itu since plenipot 1998
Impact of the Internet on ITU since Plenipot 1998
  • Support for IP-related technologies is now strategic element in design, development and use of telecommunication networks
  • “Net result” is significant impact on the ITU’s core activities in standardization, radiocommunication and development
  • Technical difference between “Internet” and “telecoms” is increasingly just shades of grey
convergence between internet and telecoms
Convergence between Internet and Telecoms
  • How to address calls that pass from one network service to another
  • Now widely possible to originate calls from IP address-based networks to other networks, but uncommon to terminate calls from other networks to IP address-based networks.
  • In order to access a subscriber on an IP address-based network, some sort of global addressing scheme across PSTN and IP address-based networks needs to be implemented
possible solutions
Possible Solutions
  • Assign E.164 number resources to IP-devices
    • Access to number resources typically subject to regulatory considerations
  • or ENUM:
    • Maps PSTN ITU-T E.164 numbering plan into DNS:

+41227305338 =

    • Using telephone number, look up other address (e.g., mail, fax, voice mail, IP telephony address)
    • Directory service
    • See
regulatory conundrum
Regulatory Conundrum
  • In telecommunication numbering, there is a regulatory tradition with strong government involvement (e.g., number portability, anti-slamming)
  • In the Internet, management of naming and addressing has been left to “industry self-regulation”
  • In converged addressing environment, which model should/will predominate (or is this co-regulation?)
related recommendations
Related Recommendations
  • Need for further coordination between regulatory authorities responsible for traditional PSTN numbering and those responsible for national Internet naming
  • ITU-T SG 2 preparing supplement to assist national authorities in considerations of inclusion of their portion of the E.164 plan in the DNS
    • availability September 2001
  • Consider deployment of ENUM testbed (e.g. like Sweden, UK, Netherlands)
international domain names
International Domain Names
  • If the Internet was invented in Thailand, would you remember this?
  • Global demographics suggest English will fade as “the language” of the Internet
consequences of non english urls
Consequences of Non-English URLs
  • Difficulty for non-native English speakers to remember and spell addresses
  • Hindrance to e-commerce for non-native English-speaking customers
  • Widening of digital divide
solution s to multilingual dns
Solutions to Multilingual DNS
  • 1994-1998: Internationalization effort inthe Asia Pacific Networking Group(APNG)
  • March 1998: Internationalisation of DNS
    • iDNS Systeminvented by Tinwee Tan
    • Asia Pacific testbed setup in 1998/1999
    • Ability to support Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Tamil, etc.
    • End 1999: companies start tocommercializerelated technology
today s result multiple incompatible technical solutions have e merged
Today’s Result: Multiple Incompatible Technical Solutions have Emerged
  • We now have “Tower of Babel” situation with deployment of multiple non-interoperable solutions:
    • International Inc 1999
    • .NU domain (Swedish and others)
    • Neteka 2000 (Toronto)
    • Verisign GRS (NSI Registry) 2000
    • CNNIC, KRNIC, JPNIC, etc…..
    •, Walid
  • Standards vs commercial interests to be front-runner
  • Case 1: ASCII in Verisign GRS registry: Samsung.COM
  • Case 2: Non-ASCII in Verisign GRS registry: 삼성.COM
  • Case 3: Non-ASCII in non-Verisign GRS registry: 삼성.기업
related recommendations1
Related Recommendations
  • National authorities to consider:
    • importance of global interoperability of present and future Internet;
    • ensuring consumers are fully informed of any limitations arising from participating in testbeds;
    • application of competition and market access, consumer protection principles;
    • prevention of cybersquatting and development of dispute resolution policy in the IDNs environments (e.g., with dispute resolution policy, implementation of sunrise periods)
related contacts question
Related Contacts & Question
  • Contacts:
  • Should ITU do anything more to promote global interoperability for an internationalized DNS?
intellectual property rights and dispute resolution
Intellectual Property Rightsand Dispute Resolution
  • International Dispute Resolution Process for generic top level domains (e.g., .com)
    • First described by Internet Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) in 1996 in consultation with WIPO
  • WIPO First Domain Name Process
    • July 1998: First DNS consultation process resulted in development of low cost uniform dispute resolution process (UDRP) for generic top level domains (e.g., .com)
wipo domain names process
WIPO Domain Names Process
  • Adopted by ICANN in December 1999
    • Over 3640 decisions rendered under this dispute framework (as of April 2000)
    • Deliberately limited in scope (bad faith violation of trademarks in domain names)
    • Adopted also by some “country code” top level domain (ccTLD) managers
      • especially those with “open” ccTLDs
2nd wipo domain names process
2nd WIPO Domain Names Process
  • July 2000: WIPO received request from 19 Member States to initiate new process to make recommendations on bad faith, abusive, misleading or unfair use of:
    • Personal names
    • International Nonproprietary Names (INNs) for pharmaceutical substances
    • Names of international intergovernmental organizations
    • Geographic indications, geographic terms or indications of source; and trade names
  • See
wipo 2nd domain names report
WIPO 2nd Domain Names Report
  • Interim Report released April, 2000 with these Recommendations:
    • INNs should be protected against registration (including in other languages and ccTLDs)
    • Names of IGO’s be protected
    • Measures be adopted to protect abusive registration of geographical indications and indications of source
    • Measure to protect names of countries and administrative regions and municipalities
      • e.g.,,,, all held by entities outside those countries
related recommendations2
Related Recommendations
  • Participate in WIPO consultation to reflect Asia-Pacific region views
    • Asia-Pacific regional consultation in Melbourne, May 24, 2001
  • Consider overlapping implications of International DNS and dispute resolution vis-à-vis government interests:
    • Españ registered under Verisign GRS IDNS testbed by party in Venezuela
    • Japanese Ministry names cybersquatted in Verisign GRS IDNS testbed
related recommendations3
Related Recommendations
  • Consider WIPO’s “regulatory conundrum” described in end of Executive Summary: how should final recommendations be implemented?
    • Adoption of the policy by ICANN
    • International treaty system
  • Note that WIPO recommends not extending UDRP in some circumstances
  • Also related is registration of geographical identifiers in new gTLDs