Monthly Archives: April 2014

NetMundial

logo-net-mundial3

The two-day NetMundial conference that starts on Wednesday. Me, Russ, and several other IETFers are attending this event.

The agenda for the meeting can be found here and a draft outcome document can be viewed here. Comments can be provided (until tomorrow April 21st), and several organisations, such as ISOC, are submitting feedback. Much of the discussion is on high-level topics, such as principles and roadmaps for Internet Governance.

But even more concrete topics, such as IANA transition will be on the agenda. (This reminds me that we have an ongoing discussion on IAB’s internetgovtech list about the IANA changes process; please comment.)

Remote participation is possible, the details are here.

We will provide a brief summary once the meeting is over.

Update Apr 25th: An outcome document is now available. This is the result of a panel editing a draft, based on discussions before and during the meeting. I will post more information and some of my own observations about this topic in the next couple of days.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair

New TLDs

The previous blog post talked about the IANA discussions at the ICANN meeting. But of course that was not the only topic that we talked about. The biggest project in the last couple of years at ICANN has been the introduction of new TLDs. Those are new finally coming online, and include both new ASCII-based names as well as many internationalized domain names. The latter are, of course, very important for the worldwide users of the Internet.

Having talked to some of the people about their experiences in bringing such new TLDs to use, we realised that there are some technical barriers in using them in some applications. And we wanted to highlight one of those barriers in this post, in the hope that additional implementors notice these issues and make sure that the new TLDs work in all current systems.

The barrier we want to highlight is that some applications expect only the set of TLDs that were in use before this recent expansion, and do not accept (or do not properly handle) the new TLDs in URIs, email addresses, and other places that domain names appear. This is a problem that touches different types of applications and web services.

For instance, many browsers employ mechanisms to recognize proper domain names, and use internal logic to recognize valid TLDs. The results of such recognition processes is used for things such as determining whether a string typed in the URL bar should be fed to the domain name system or to a search engine. In some cases, today’s browsers are unaware of the full set of possible TLDs, and may refuse to do a domain name query, instead assuming that the user entered a search.

Of course, the relevant developers have been notified of known issues, and fixes are on the way, but there may be issues that we have not run into yet. For further information, see also ICANN’s Universal Acceptance Project.

As time goes by, many more of these domains come online. Any discovered problems will be detected and corrected. But sooner the better. With this in mind, check your code today!

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair and Barry Leiba, IETF Applications Area Director

IANA Changes

Two weeks ago there was an announcement from the US government regarding their role in managing IANA. As we knew this might be coming, Russ and I (along with IESG and IAB) had worked with various Internet technical organisations to prepare a statement as well, essentially saying that we intend to build on the existing organizations and their roles. We noted that the Internet technical community is strong enough take on the stewardship function as it transitions from the US Government, while maintaining our current roles.

I wanted to provide some further updates, with several of us having visited ICANN’s 49th meeting, which was held last week in Singapore. The US government announcement designated ICANN as the facilitator of the process to propose the changes that might be necessary. Not the decider, but the one that starts the process and makes sure that the rest of the Internet community and organisations are engaged in this discussion. This process was started last week, and indeed, it was the biggest discussion topic of the week. We at the IETF need to participate in discussions around IANA and its possible evolution as well, particularly when it comes to the part that we are in charge of, i.e., the protocol parameters.

With this in mind, I wanted to point out a few things that are going on:

  • The IAB has lead a discussion about general principles on how we view IANA. The latest update of the principles was posted at the internetgovtech list. There are also some initial thoughts and discussions on what the changes in the role of US government might mean in practice, also at the same list. These discussions will continue – please contribute!
  • At ICANN 49, a lot has been said about this topic. For instance, the transcript from the opening session on this topic is here. And I found this blog article useful to understand the various things that US government officials have said about the topic. Among other things, they emphasise the role of the “customers” of IANA (such as IETF in the case of protocol parameters.) Also, both Russ and I spoke about our views from an IETF perspective. What I said is here.
  • There is an ongoing discussion about how the IANA changes process itself is designed. The input gathered during ICANN’s meeting will be summarised by 7th of April, but the discussion will continue. Once a process is in place, we can talk more about the actual substance.

In the IETF system, the IAB is the entity responsible for the IANA relationship. The IAB is supported by the IANA program.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair