Description

In late 2019, the APRALO Leadership Team proposed the initiation of an APRALO Policy Platform for 2020. After reviewing input from RALO members to the proposal and in light of the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, the Leadership Team considers this APRALO Policy Forum to be a modest but useful kickstart to facilitate and coordinate ICANN policy-related discussions at a regional level.

Purpose:

The APRALO Policy Forum aims to:

  • Aim 1: Encourage engagement of APRALO members on issues within ICANN's remit  
  • Aim 2: Facilitate informed, inclusive regional position development on issues within ICANN's remit
  • Aim 3: Support APRALO Leadership's participation as a regional partner to the ALAC Policy Platform / the At-Large Consolidated Policy Working Group
  • Aim 4: Grow APRALO outreach opportunities within the AP region and with other RALOs and ICANN communities on ICANN policy issues
  • Aim 5: Provide suggestions on AP regional issues of interest which may fall within ICANN’s remit

How do we achieve these aims? By:

  • Informing the APRALO Community on ICANN policy issues.
  • Engaging the APRALO Community in At-Large discussions on ICANN policy issues 
  • Consulting the APRALO Community to formulate input on ICANN policy issues.
  • Building the capacity of the APRALO Community to effectively participate on ICANN policy deliberations 
  • Participating in inter-RALO discourse on ICANN policy issues 
  • Creating intra-regional discourse & cooperation opportunities to advocate for individual end user interests

APRALO Priorities for 2023-2024

Area1. Vis-à-vis ALAC/At-Large Community2. Policy-related priorities3. RALO Membership Retention & Engagement priorities4. ICANN operating priorities – top 5 to monitor**  5. Consideration of additional, new topics ***
Priorities
  • 1a-Continue to contribute towards policy position development
  • 1b-Pay attention to ICANN governance matters
  • 1c-Take greater cognizance of "global public interest" applicability
  • 2a-Increase involvement in DNS Abuse mitigation
  • 2b-Continue focusing on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)
  • 2c-Increase participation in promotion of Universal Acceptance (UA)
  • 3a-Continue with capacity building / development
  • 3b-Build on leadership development & mentorship
  • 3c-Improve participation & engagement, institute activity metrics
  • 4a-OI-4.  Evolve & strengthen ICANN Community’s decision-making processes [**p.28]
  • 4b-OI-3.  Evolve & strengthen the Multi-stakeholder Model (MSM) [**p.23]
  • 4c-OI-9.  Evaluate, align & facilitate improved engagement in the Internet Ecosystem [**p.44]
  • 4d-OI-7.  Promote the Universal Acceptance of domain names and email addresses [**p.38]
  • 4e-OI-10.Through targeted engagement, improve Govt and IGO engagement & participation [**p.47]
  • 5a-Internet Fragmentation or “Splinternet”
  • 5b-Aspects of the Next Round of New generic Top-Level Domains (New gTLDs)

*    Per the 2022 Hot Topic Survey.
**  For an explanation of the above priorities in area 4, please refer to: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/op-financial-plan-fy22-26-opplan-fy22-2021-en.pdf
*** Per the APF Town Hall Meetings of 10 Aug 2023

Membership:

Open to all APRALO members interested in ICANN policy-related discussions, by subscription to the mailing list. The membership list is published below.

Operation:

The work of the Policy Forum will be facilitated using a combination of the following resources:

  • This work space, as the central repository for the Forum
  • The apralo-policy@icann.org mailing list which will be moderated by members of the Leadership Team and supported by At-Large Staff. 
  • Periodic team/small team project/planning calls 
  • Event calls

The ICANN Expected Standards of Behaviour will apply.

17 Aug 2023 


Discussions & Next Events

APRALO Policy Forum Planning Document 2024 (comment-only mode)

Next Activities:

Immediate Past Activities


2024 Activities

 NO STATEMENT [23] APRALO Statement to ICANN Board Call for Public Comments for the IDNs-EPDP Phase 1 Final Report, February 2024

Background: APRALO seeks to respond to the Public Comment proceeding that is seeking input on the Phase 1 Final Report Recommendations from the GNSO Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for ICANN Board Consideration.

Target Aims: 1, 2, 3
Target Priorities: 2b, 3a, 3c, 5b

Event Wiki: APF Call, 13 Feb 2024

Dedicated Workspace:  IDNs-EPDP Phase 1 Statement Googledoc

 ACTIVE [24] APRALO Statement to ICANN Org Review of the Draft Applicant Support Program (ASP) Handbook – New gTLD Program

Background:  ICANN org is seeking feedback on the Draft Application Support Program (ASP) Handbook, which has been previously discussed by the Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) Implementation Review Team (IRT) Sub-Track on ASP as part of ICANN’s efforts to implement the policy recommendations on Topic 17: Applicant Support, of the SubPro PDP Final Report, and taking into account the guidance provided by the GNSO Guidance Process (GGP) on Applicant Support. An APF Small Team is to be constituted to work on inputs for APRALO's submission to this call for feedback.

Target Aims: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Target Priorities: 1a, 3a, 3b, 3c, 5b

Dedicated Workspace:  Draft ASP Handbook Statement Googledoc

 PLANNING [25] APRALO Policy Forum Webinar #3 on the Next Round of New gTLDs: Applicant Support Program in the Next Round

Background:  ICANN org is seeking feedback on the Draft Application Support Program (ASP) Handbook, which has been previously discussed by the Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) Implementation Review Team (IRT) Sub-Track on ASP as part of ICANN’s efforts to implement the policy recommendations on Topic 17: Applicant Support, of the SubPro PDP Final Report, and taking into account the guidance provided by the GNSO Guidance Process (GGP) on Applicant Support. An APF Small Team is to be constituted to work on inputs for APRALO's submission to this call for feedback. 

Target Aims: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Target Priorities: 1a, 3a, 3b, 3c, 5b

Event Wiki:  APF Webinar, date TBD

Recording: 

PLANNING [26] APRALO Policy Forum Fireside Chat #5: Let's Talk About Internet Fragmentation and the Multistakeholder Model

Background: The fitfh APRALO Fireside chat: "Let’s Talk About Internet Fragmentation and the Multistakeholder Model" is currently in planning. 

Event Wiki:  APF Fireside Chat, TBD 

Recording: 

More about: APRALO Policy Forum Fireside Chats 2022-2023

 ACTIVE [10] APRALO Register of Skills & Interests Project (2021-2023)

Background: Tentatively code-named "Project RoSI", this project is intended to produce a dynamic Register of Skills & Interests for APRALO.

Status: Ongoing. Project RoSI Small Team completed preliminary work on data to be presented to the RALO for consultation vide the Hot Topics Survey 2021/2022. See: Infographic report Infographic report

Dedicated Workspace:  Project RoSI Workspace


Activity & Meeting Archives

APRALO Policy Forum Discussions Archive 2020-2023


Contact

Staff Support Lead: Gisella Gruber

Mailing list: apralo-policy@icann.org 

To subscribe to the APRALO Policy Forum mailing list (or read the archives / manage your subscription) please send a request to staff@atlarge.icann.org.


Members

Current membership of the APRALO Policy Forum comprises: 

NameDate Joined / (Resigned)Subscribed to the Mailing list

1. Justine Chew (Chair)

04.01.2024(tick)
2. Amrita Choudhury04.01.2024(tick)
3. Cheryl Langdon-Orr04.01.2024(tick)
4. Gopal Tadepalli 04.01.2024(tick)
5. K. Mohan Raidu04.01.2024(tick)
6. Shah Zahidur Rahman04.01.2024(tick)
7. Nitin Walia04.01.2024(tick)

8. Nazmul Hasan Majumder

04.01.2024(tick)

9. Fouad Bajwa

04.01.2024(tick)

10. Vipul Gautam 

04.01.2024(tick)

11. Houda Chihi

04.01.2024(tick)

12. Udeep Baral

05.01.2024(tick)

13. Phyo Thiri

05.01.2024(tick)

14. Kong Diep

05.01.2024(tick)

15. Ashirwad Tripathy 

06.01.2024(tick)

16. Nabeel Yasin

12.01.2024(tick)

17. Laxmi Prasad Yadav

12.01.2024(tick)

18. Maureen Hilyard

12.01.2024(tick)

19. Jasmine Ko 

13.01.2024(tick)

20. Prateek Pathak

13.01.2024(tick)

21. Muhammad Umair Ali 

14.01.2024(tick)

22. Iqra Ejaz Bhatti

14.01.2024

23. Ashrafur Rahman Piaus 

14.01.2024(tick)

24. Priyatosh Jana

15.01.2024(tick)

25. Suhaidi Hassan

15.01.2024(tick)

26. Harisa Shahid 

15.01.2024(tick)

27. Holly Raiche

15.01.2024(tick)

28. Fidya Shabrina

15.01.2024(tick)

29. Bibek Silwal

17.01.2024(tick)

30. Mabda Haerunnisa Fajrilla Sidiq

30.01.2024(tick)

31. Faheem Soomro

01.02.2024(tick)

32. Satish Babu

01.02.2024(tick)

33. Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu

08.02.2024

34. Shehab Karman

13.02.2024

Past Membership



Justine Chew (Chair)Md Toufik HayderLaxmi Prasad Yadav Bibek SilwalSuhaidi Hassan
Shreedeep Rayamajhi (Former Chair)Kashif AdeelRao Naveed Bin Rais Udeep BaralPriyatosh Jana
Amrita ChoudhuryAyesha IftikharFouad BajwaSamik KharelAbhishek Gautam
Nabeel YasinMohammad Kawsar UddinShidul Alam Kaisar Jaewon SonFaheem Soomro
Dr. N.Sudha BhuvaneswariMd. Jahangir HossainStacy GildenstonAmir Qayyum
Asyraf Mierza Abd RahmaEranga SamararathnaNamra NaseerAbdul Ghayoor Bawary


Justine Chew (Co-Chair)Satish Babu (Co-Chair)Maureen HilyardAris IgnacioNadira Alaraj
Holly RaicheGunela AstbrinkPriyatosh JanaKristina HakobyanAzatullah Dawoodzai
Fouad BajwaGopal TadepalliCheryl Langdon-OrrMohammad Kawsar UddinSivasubramanian Muthusamy
Narine KhachatryanAmrita ChoudhuryShreedeep RayamajhiJaewon SonAli AlMeshal
Mahmoud LattoufLianna GalstyanAmir QayyumWinthrop YuHilmi Ghalib
Prateek PathakAbdul Ghayoor BawaryK Mohan RaiduSuhaidi Hassan



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30 Comments

  1. Universal Acceptance [UA] is a fundamental requirement for a truly multilingual and digitally inclusive Internet. DNS is in the application layer. A huge plus in Distributed Computing is "Location Transparency". UA is subtly anti-theistic to this goal of designing applications that happen anywhere. UA is another way of indicating traceability.

    I suggest two parameters for scoring:

    1. Web Scriptability
    2. Incident Responsiveness and Manageability

    A good parameter to have on the score card is "Web Scriptability".

    A Case in Point: headless browser is a web browser without a GUI. They can Perform DDOS attacks on web sites, Increase advertisement impressions and Automate web sites in unintended ways. Google Chrome and Firefox are headless browsers.

    People use tags to aid classification, mark ownership, note boundaries, and indicate online identity. IMHO, UA at present is on the lines of "tags" in vernacular languages well adapted to the UNICODE. It is still a "metadata" that can be used in programming.

    IMHO, Another parameter to have on the score card is "Incident Responsiveness and Manageability".

    An incident may enable quick traceability to a "Local Geography (small footprint)" but its maximum impact may be elsewhere. 

    Hope this helps.

    Gopal T V


  2. APRALO Policy Forum 2020 Year End Report

    This Policy Forum, with its membership standing at more than 15 members, closed out 6 items in its maiden quarter ending December 2020 ( see: APRALO Policy Forum Discussions 2020 Archive ) and will continue to function in 2021 as the RALO's space for facilitating better informed, inclusive regional input on issues within ICANN's remit.

    In order to boost the level of output of this Forum, the APRALO Leadership Team will seek feedback on how to ease and improve participation of members via a series of short surveys. Part of our approach will be to establish factors that can contribute to increased participation and/or impediments to members' participation, as well as how to improve members' engagement while also lowering barriers to the same. It would also involves trialing the use of online tools such as Google-form surveys and Google Jamboards.

    In 2021, we will also embark on 2 identified projects: (1) Regional Inventory of Skills and Interests; and (2) Regional Hot Topics Survey 2021; one or both of which we anticipate will benefit other symbiotic initiatives planned for the RALO, eg. the APRALO Mentorship Program.

  3. APRALO Policy Forum Survey #1.2021 Report and Recommendations

  4. APRALO Policy Forum 2021 Year End Report

    We kick-started the year by conducting the APRALO Policy Forum Survey #1.2021 in Mar 2021 to identify key impediments to participating in the APRALO Policy Forum, and to seek ideas for addressing such impediments.  The report and recommendations from that survey guided our endeavors for the rest of 2021.

    As we approach the end of 2021, I am pleased to note that the APRALO Policy Forum has nearly doubled its membership as compared to this time last year. 

    We have also carried out a number of initiatives during the year which formed APRALO's contributions towards policy development, community engagement and capacity building. These are:-

    1. APRALO Statement on Subsequent Procedures Final Outputs, 1 Jun 2021, wherein APRALO, in endorsing the ALAC's Advice on Subsequent Procedures of 16 April 2021, also emphasized 3 elements of regional importance to us, these being:

    • to facilitate increased adoption of Universal Acceptance (UA) & Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs);
    • to facilitate increased & equitable access by “Global South”, community / niche TLD applicants through the Applicant Support Program (ASP) & Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) and a ban on private auctions; and
    • to advocate for ALAC to have automatic standing to file Community Objections (where it deems necessary).

    2. APRALO Webinar on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), 27 Jul 2021, where given the particular importance of IDNs for our region, we took the lead in this capacity building effort in association with the At-Large Capacity Building Working Group (CBWG), to support our RALO members and other interested At-Large members in understanding the history and existing landscape of IDNs in order to engage meaningfully in the work of the GNSO Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on IDNs.  We managed to draw 65 participants.

    In addition, we have initiated 2 projects, which will now continue into 2022, both of which are designed to further support the region's work in various areas under ICANN's remit. These are:-

    3. APRALO Register of Skills & Interests Project (2021) which is designed to produce a dynamic Register of Skills & Interests for APRALO; and

    4. Regional Hot Topics Survey 2021 which will be designed primarily to solicit input from RALO members on what topics RALO members believe is of importance to our region and which APRALO should consider embracing in its agenda. Further, we hope to also use the 2021 survey to gauge RALO  members input in light of ICANN's FY21-26 operating priorities. 

    Finally, to prepare for 2022, we are conducting the APRALO Policy Forum Survey #2.2021 to seek feedback on the Policy Forum's role in facilitating better informed, inclusive regional input on issues within ICANN's remit.

    APRALO Policy Forum Discussion Archives


  5. APRALO Policy Forum Survey #2.2021 Report and Guide for 2022 Agenda

  6. Justine Chew 

    Thank you again for the activities of the APRALO Policy Forum.

    IMHO, usage of specific terms related to "Internet Technologies" will enhance the effectiveness of the deliberations in ICANN Working Groups. Attached please find my PPT presentation on "Internet Technologies" that provides a quick overview. We can develop this further if there is more interest in this approach.

    Gopal_Internet_Technologies.ppt

    Whether we like it or not:

    • DNS has long been a serious compromise in the security of the web. https:// proved to be a great technical solution to prop a plethora of policies associated with the DNS.
    • New Services and technologies are becoming imperative with DNS.
    • The DNS database is distributed.
    • DNS makes the difference on:  
      • Performance: overcome network latency experienced by geographically distributed users.
      • Security: decrease vulnerability to spoofing and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
      • Reliability: guarantee internet domain queries are consistently and correctly resolved.
      • Availability: ensure users can reach your website at any given time.
      • Scalability: manage increased traffic as an organization’s business grow.

      The biggest challenge for most companies is that DNS is a complex system that requires an array of software, network infrastructure, hardware and specialized knowledge. For Example: Cloud Computing is a consolidated system.

    • Certain DNS servers may have outdated records. Some servers may have inefficient records that point your data packets towards the scenic route, taking you all around the Internet before the packets can reach the destination. It has srious raminfications with the rapidly scaling IoTs.

    Once again, I strongly suggest usage of specific terms related to "Internet Technologies" during our deliberations in ICANN.

    • Dr. T V Gopal
  7. Justine Chew 

    Goal: Safe and Stable approach to ensure that the "One Internet" is for the End Users.

     “Request for Comments” (RFC) turned 50 years on 7 April 2019. They began on 7 April 1969.

    From the technical perspective, RFCs have always been a boon for building Internet and making Governance happen with it.

    RFCs are the official documents of Internet specifications, communications protocols, procedures, and events. An Internet Standard is documented by a Request for Comments (RFC) or a set of RFCs. Today there are over 8,500 RFCs whose publication is managed through a formal process by the RFC Editor team. Most of the them (not all) are the responsibility of the Inernet Engineering Task Force (IETF)anyone could write an RFC for free.

    Anyone could read the RFCs for free. They are open to all to read, without any fee or membership.  In a simple language of Iinternet Technlogies, RFCs define how the Internet Works. Interoperability happens due to these RFCs. The elegance of the Internet is that in order to communicate between a mobile phone connected to a broadband provider in the Country A and a server in a data center in Country B, the two networks at either end of the connection do not need a relationship with each other. They have to interoperate.

    For the first few years of its existence, the RFC series was essentially a mailing list on paper from the postal service, and it was maintained by hand. Some RFCs are informational in nature. The RFC left questions open and was written in a less formal style. This less formal style is now typical of Internet Draft documents, the precursor step before being approved as an RFC.  They are now the official record of the Internet's design decisions, architecture, and technical standards. 

    A draft standard is not promoted to full standard for at least four months, after operational experience has been obtained, and when there is demonstrated interoperability between two or more independentmechanisms for implementation. Please see the figure below.

    Internet_Governance.webp

    In a world that is increasingly intertwined with the Internet, it’s becoming more difficult to maintain the position that the design of Internet protocols doesn’t have a political dimension. 

    I suggest that APRALO takes the lead in working with the RFC Editor @ https://www.rfc-editor.org/ for hyperlinking the pertinent documents that bind the Policies of Internet Governance to the Mechanism that is a double - edged sword at its core with no central authority & a "Gold Standard" behavior.

    Satish Babu As you would appreciate, it is very difficult to single out a specific RFC. However, I am venturing to suggest the following very useful RFC related to IDNs. 

    Request for Comments: 5894 ; August 2010; Informational
    Internationalized Domain Names for Applications (IDNA): Background, Explanation, and Rationale
    • Dr. T V Gopal



  8. I have been associated with the progress of Tamil on the Internet since 1999.

    Tamil All Character Encoding (TACE16) is a 16-bit Unicode-based character encoding scheme for Tamil language. There are atleast 25 strong differences between TACE16 and Unicode standard for Tamil language: Lot of investments have gone into TACE16. 

    I was associated with the performance tuning for TACE16 and it performs much better than Unicode Tamil. 

    TACE16 has been well documented and has renowned scholars in Tamil championing its design and development.

    Satish Babu You may be aware of this.

    • Dr. T V Gopal
  9. For the Records:

    According to official sources, Tamil Nadu has over 37,211 government schools and 8,403 government-aided schools which respectively educate 54.71 lakh students (65.79 per cent) and 28.44 lakh (34.20 per cent) students.

    I am serving as "Domian Expert" for Computer Science for the Textbook Preparation for Plus I (11th Class) and Plus 2 (12th Class) by the Government of Tamilnadu.

    This is my third such effort for the school students from 1998.

    In the current edition, we could introduce UNICODE (Tamizh, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam) to pave for Multilingualism and hopefully Universal Access. It has been an enriching study for me all along.

    • Dr. T V Gopal

    PS: I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to (Late) Dr. M Anandakrishnan who headed the Tamil Nadu Curriculum Framework Committee (2017) which restructured the state board syllabus from Class I to XII. He was the Former Vice Chancellor of Anna University and in 2017 he was the Chairman, Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. (Late) Dr. M Anandakrishnan championed the Internet Governance in India and I have been associated with him since early 1990s.





  10. ICANN75 was another great experience for me. Thank you.

     "Dynamic Prioritization":

    In the domain of Operating Systems, it has a high potential for Starvation. One has to track the age of a given request for a resource waiting in the queue. In a In a generic system it can potentially result in (what I call) "waitlisted to no where" conditions,

    Predictable systems enable you to give a confident answer to the quite common question “When will this be done?”.

    Workflow management is about predictability. A process workflow happens when the set of tasks is predictable and there are repetitive pattern

    The real challenge is automating workflows to enhance "Productivity". 

    Suggestion: A Fireside Chat on the topic "Dynamic Prioritization and ICANN Remit".

    • Dr. T V Gopal






  11. It has been very useful to study the Multi-stakeholder model of ICANN from the following scoreable aspects.

    #1. openness: attaching more importance to transparency and communication in decision-making; 
    #2. participation: ensuring participation of all relevant stakeholders
    #3. accountability: clarifying the role of each party in the decision-making process; each stakeholder involved should assume responsibility for the role given to them
    #4. effectiveness: decisions need to be taken at the appropriate level and time, and deliver what is needed
    #5. coherence: ensuring coherence between diverse actions.

    In principle, multi-stakeholder model is better 'than governance by governments alone'.  A 'stakeholder' has a legitimate interest in a particular Internet governance issue. The model recognizes that not all stakeholders automatically proclaim as stakeholders, and not all multi-stakeholder processes include all stakeholders.

    Observation: The ICANN Multi - Stakeholder model has a high potential for resilience even though it has very limited or no wherewithal to control / regulate all stakeholders with / without ICANN.

    For future proofing this model, I find the following two aspects very valuable.

    1. Complexity - Please see the attachment

    Modelling+Internet+Governance 2.jpg

           2. Universality -  UNESCO's 303 Internet Universality Indicators

    https://www.unesco.org/en/communication-information/internet-governance/internet-universality-indicators/roamx-indicators#:~:text=UNESCO's%20Internet%20Universality%20Indicators%20are,Accessibility%2C%20Multi%2Dstakeholder%20participation.

    The reality of multi-stakeholder participation is at times challenged by issues that relate both to the nature of the Internet that includes jurisdiction, enforcement, scale and the pace at which it changes and grows.

    A discipline of not blaming technology and localization for jurisprudence with local language support are the strong safeguards that I suggest.

    • Dr. T V Gopal
  12. APRALO Policy Forum 2022 Year End Report (up to Oct 2022)

    The APRALO Policy Forum has had a very productive year 2022, having delivered 4 key events and the APRALO Regional Hot Topics Survey 2022 project in the last 6 months. 

    Since its key planning meeting of 13 May 2022, the team had implemented its Fireside Chat Program by running its Inaugural Fireside Chat on GNSO PDP 3.0 on 26 May with Cheryl Langdon-Orr and myself, followed by the (2nd) Fireside Chat on Closed Generics with Holly Raiche and Olivier Crepin-Leblond on 8 June; and the (3rd) Fireside Chat on Transfer Policy with Steinar Grøtterød and Jonathan Zuck on 29 June; all of which were very well-received by participants. Click here to see the aggregated exit poll results.

    During ICANN75 in Kuala Lumpur, the team also delivered on 19 September, the At-Large Policy Session: ICANN’s Goal for a Multilingual Internet through Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) featuring ICANN Board Member Edmon Chung, ICANN org’s Sarmad Hussain and (then) ALAC Vice Chair for Policy Jonathan Zuck. In this session, Jonathan shared some preliminary end-user demand perceptions on the availability and usability of IDNs in the Devanagari script from the recent limited end user survey which the At-Large conducted with selected Hindi-speaking communities in India. Click here to view the Zoom recording of this policy session.

    And, results of the APRALO Regional Hot Topics Survey 2022 (which the team conducted in Aug-Sep of 2022) were reported during the APRALO F2F meeting at ICANN75. This report, which is intended as input towards the setting of our regional priorities for the next 18-24 months, was also shared at the APRALO Monthly Call of Oct 2022 where the summary was discussed briefly.

    Finally, in light of my increasing commitments in respect of GNSO matters, I am stepping down from leading the APRALO Policy Forum, a role which I have had the privilege of holding since 2020. I wish to thank everyone who has supported the goals and projects of this Policy Forum and hope that its activities to-date have not only assisted our RALO members in some way but also showcased contributions APRALO are capable of within the At-Large and ICANN communities.

    Kind regards,
    Justine Chew

    APRALO Policy Forum Discussion Archives

    1. Thank you again for the Venn Diagram like mapping for the kind of expertise that ICANN can potential thrive from. 

      Knowing that you do like reading books, I also wish to mention that the following references may be of use for you.

      Bimal Krishna Matilal, Logic, Language and Reality: Indian Philosophies and Contemporary Issues, Motilal Banarsidass, 2017.

      Marcos Zampieri and Preslav Nakov (Editors), Similar Languages, Varieties, and Dialects, Cambridge University Press, 2021.

      • Dr. T V Gopal


  13. Satish Babu Justine Chew 

    My Opening Keynote Address titled: 

    Impact of Language on Income and Trade - 7 January 2023 @ 12 Noon IST 

    during the Indian Institute of Finance International Research Conference & Award Summit between  January 6-8 , 2023 

    Attached please find one slide that is pertinent to ICANN on IDNs. 

    Gopal_Internet_International_Trade_ICANN.jpg

    Submission:

    The raw internet connectivity is not adequate. "Internet Network Value" is crucial for International Trade. IDNs is one such value. to address the "Language Barrier". Language is a key factor in the Gravity Model of International Trade I spoke on this keynote address.

    Some Pertinent Notes:

    #1. A "value network" is a graphical representation of social and technical resources within / between organizations and how they are utilized. The nodes in a value network are abstractions of people. Role is one useful abstraction but this need not be the only one. The nodes are connected by interactions that reflect  the outcomes / deliverables.

    #2. Metcalfe's law attempts to quantify the value of any network. The value is perceived to be in proportion to square of connected users of a system. This is very debatable.

    Internet has always been a technological marvel and economically baffling. There is no single owner but arguably anyone who has access rights to the internet can calim a tiny share as a sort of owner. There is a difference in what one pays for this "ownership" and what one is willing to pay. Presently, it is in surplus..most of the times one may be willing to pay more !!

    • Dr. T V Gopal 
  14. The Challenge of DNS and IP Mappings

    In my humble opinion, since DNS is an Application Layer level thinking technology, it goes a long way in building and sustaining resilient systems.

    Some Quick Notes:

    Mapping a domain name to an IP Address is known as Name-Address Resolution. Even though it all happens reliably and in quick time,, there are a couple of factors that could affect the process:

    1. The “round trip” time, in milliseconds, from a given computer to the DNS server 
    2. The fact that time depends on how close that server is to the given computer, and other technological factors

    Not every domain address has unique IP. There may be more than one domain addresses on same IP. 

    The DNS defines a special domain called  in-addr.arpa to translate IPv4 addresses to host names, and the ip6.int and ip6.arpa domains for IPv6 address-to-host name translation.

    The DNS function does not provide encryption or hide the IP address. A Virtual Private Network (VPN} does. Also, there is Dynamic DNS and No-IP for the routers.

    Free Dynamic DNS Hostnames must be confirmed after 30 days or they will expire, be removed from DNS and put into Redemption. This policy helps keep our network free of unused Hostnames.

    I am aware of many tools with effective and efficient user interfaces to make the desirable mappings. However, in my humble opinion, going under the hood helps make effective policies that serve for a long - term. Over this span of time, we may have a percentage of end-users manage the policy within their groups.

    I request the stakeholders to give it a serious thought.

    Specific to India: Om Vikas, "Language Technology Development in India", Ministry of Information Technology, New Delhi, India.

     

    Notes:

    #1:

    This is an old report. It is very useful to study. I worked with Dr. Om Vikas and (Late) Maj. Gen. A Balasubrahmanian, AVSM (Retd) on Technology Development in Indian Languages (TDIL).

    #2:

    I am a Life Fellow of the Indian Social Science Academy (ISSA) that was established on August 15, 1974 with registered headquarters at Allahabad. This is the first and perhaps the only social science related organization that is chartered for Multilingual work.

    #3:

    Indian Language Data Centre (ILDC) at: https://ildc.in/

    • Dr. T V Gopal
  15. Today (Thursday, 10 August 2023), APRALO Policy Forum is organizing the "Town Hall" mode of deliberations.

    It was in August 2018, I was invited by the Government of Tamil Nadu to serve as a "Domain Expert" for preparing the Computer Science Textbooks for Plus I (11th Class) and Plus II (12th Class) students. There was some work going on with the preparation of the textbooks by then. 

    On 6 August 2023, I completed five years of this intellectually challenging work.

    My task was first to streamline the preparation and publication of the books. The 2018 edition of the books rolled out quite behind the scheduled. Now, the team of experts have ushered in the fourth edition of these textbooks.

    There are 38, 209 schools in Tamil Nadu and almost all of them offer Computer Science as a subject. Typically, there are 100 students in each school for a class. 

    It has been my pleasure participating in the various deliberations pertaining to the IDNs. 

    I am running to several nice use cases with four languages that punctuate South India. 

    Satish Babu I am sure you can recount the critical nature of language in India. 

    Attached please find my choice excerpt from the Plus I (11th Class) Computer Science textbook.

    I must thank ICANN for the opportunities provided for me in the space of IDNs. 

    In my humble opinion, the core challenge is Integrating Literacy, Culture, and Language as IDNs with a technological basis.

    One outcome to share:

    Although the alphabets for Telugu and Kannada languages could have been encoded under a single Unicode block with language-specific fonts to differentiate the styles, they were encoded separately by the respective governments due to socio-political and to some extent historic reasons only. Suggestion: Dr. Sarmad Hussain may have more insights on evaluating UNICODE Scripts for IDNs under these conditions.

    Good References:

    Barry Schwartz, "The Paradox of Choice : Why More is Less", Harper Collins eBook, May 2007

    Ralph W Fasold and Jeff Cornor-Linton (Editors), "An Introduction to Language and Linguistics", Cambridge University Press, 2006 

    Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman and Nina Hyams, "An Introduction to Language", Cengager Learning, 2007

    • Dr. Gopal T V




  16. Satish Babu Justine Chew 

    Anything about indic is seldom about expressions. It is always an experience. Much of the experience tends to remain unexpressed or inexpressible.

    What are Indic Scripts for?

    I have a very high regard for the script less Aramaic that eventually got a script.

    Indic scripts tend to be therefore traceable to an ultimate experience that was best expressed in some form may be at a different age or time. In other words the relationship among the various Indic scripts is not merely a derivative, adaptation or even a variant. 

    Sanskrit by far gives maximal cover for the Indic Scriptures (scritped using Vedic). Sanskrit has a systemic and well documented word formation methods from the root sounds. Panini has generated 3959 rules to start with from just 14 sounds that is till today the way in which the best of the scripts (please read scriptures) are interpreted and conclusions arrived at. To my mind, it is good to note that these 14 sounds emanated from a musical instrument called "Damaru" in the left hand of the earliest godheads of the Vedic lore. Patanjali, and Katyayana have further shaped the Sanskrit grammar, as is known today.

    The method being attempted with LGRs is "algebraic" and is much like the progress of formulating the Sanskrit Grammar without explicit godhead and the subjectivity.

    There is a "computational" method as well that goes way beyond the statistical count of the number of occurrences of a "script symbol'. This method should also be considered  to regulate the scope, propagation and nullability of a scripted string of characters for repeated use.

    The Brahmi script is well studied. The Brahmi script is ancestral to almost all South Asian writing systems. The southern Brahmic group has also heavily influenced the writing systems of Southeast Asia, I have been actively proposing a regulation for South Indian scripts based out of the strongly common Brahmi script. 

    Brahmi Script is deemed as the "best fit" for the edicts of Samrat Ashoka. India defined itself with due reverence to Samrat Ashoka.

    Reference:

    C. Sivaramamurti, "Indian Epigraphy and South Indian Scripts", Madras: Government Press, 1952

    @Satish Babu: In my reckoning, language is India is not hindered by politics it suffers from lack of associated geopolitical acumen.

    It is a belief that the script takes one to the intended experience with repeated usage. So, Indic scripts though stemming from the "mother language" script of Sanskrit and thus interrelated are really different.

    My choice good reading is the 18 page paper attached. 

    I had a formal work with W3C. This paper is nice because of the immediacy of the associated pragmatics of moving ahead with the Indic Scripts for the purpose of W3C and at the same time scoping some thoughts as above. 

    Again this is only to provoke some thinking on the erudition enshrined in the Indic scripts. Someday, the mechinized algorithms may attempt this as well.

    By the way, I must hasten to mention that the "Godhead" gives a certain degree of Universality by choice. Though travel is not an instinct within me, I score good on foreign travel as an in-service government employee. In India, "Godhead" is a "Personal Choice" and on ethical dilemmas language (Bhasha) is the best to position a "Personal Best Answer". 

    Please look into the slides made with thanks to several deliberations in ICANN.

    Sharing an anecdote that has always come in handy for me:

    When Albert Einstein met Charlie Chaplin in 1931, Einstein said, "What I admire most about your art is its universality. You do not say a word, and yet the world understands you." "It's true." Replied Chaplin, "But your fame is even greater. The world admires you, when no one understands you."

    • Dr. T V Gopal


  17. Justine Chew Many thanks again for the easy paced webinar on the "Next Round of New gTLDs: An Overview" during the APRALO Policy forum meeting on Thursday 7 September 2023.

    DNS is an application layer level idea always trying to break out of the Trasnport Layer that must find a mapping to IP Address in hte Network Layer.. The layers are from the ISO - OSI Refernce Model.

    A Case in Point: The translation of Punycode sequences into the original encoding is the responsibility of the user agent (application installed on the user’s computer that connects to the server) in the browser. It is always possible to create ad-hoc punycode sequences to show the user a completely converted string at will. Both the browser and the useer can easily be misled.

    A TLD helps businesses communicate information about their product, boost audience trust and engagement, and improve brand recall. Hence, both the generic top-level domain (gTLD) and country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) are important. Selecting one over the other can impact a brand, for better or for worse. 

    A ccTLD could be a good fit if a business mainly targets customers in a specific country. A gTLD might be a better choice if the goal is to reach a broader, global audience.

    I wish that at ICANN we study both these TLDs in tandem.

    Reason: New TLDs are all classified as gTLDs. Even those that seem geographically specific, like “.berlin,” are technically not considered ccTLDs. ccTLDs are invariably just two characters.

    FOCUS: Geographical Names

    There are more than 300 ccTLDs. The most popular is Tokelau's .tk, with 24.9 million registered domains. Close behind is China's .cn, with 24.49 million registrations. Unlike gTLDs, many ccTLDs follow certain restrictions or standard procedures for domain registrations. However, there are also open ccTLDs.

    My Choice References:

    #1:

    United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. (UNGEGN) at: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/geonames/About.htm

    (Multilingual, multiscriptual dataset of names of countries, capitals and major cities)

    ICANN may have to get to the Granulatiy of a Country from the consolidation that is now happening at the Region Level.

    #2:

    Gwilym Lucas Eades, The Geography of NamesIndigenous to post-foundational, Routledge, September 30, 2020

    The Geography of Names makes the case that geographical names are transmitted memetically (i.e. as cultural units, or memes) through what Saul Kripke called communication chains. 

    Noted in the meeting Chat:

    The majority of country names fall into just four categories:

    • a directional description of the country
    • a feature of the land
    • a tribe name
    • an important person, most likely a man

    The way countries get their names is seldom democratic,

    I am trying to understand the rationale for the specification of APRALO.

    The inforgraphic given below indicates that the "tribe" dictates the name of the country.

    Understandably, the specific name of the "tribe" serves as a thumbnail for the specific geographical name and the associated geopolitics to some extent.

    • Dr. T V Gopal



  18. Satish Babu Justine Chew 

    How much does Punycode contribute to Phishing Attacks ?

    Is there any report answering this question? APRALO has the maximum scope for deploying IDNs.

    To my mind, Punycode is an encoding system to represent a sequenced string of unicode characters via an ASCII character sequence,

    Punycode makes the seuquenced string usable in domain names, without having to modify existing infrastructure and standards. Hence this question.

    • Dr. T V Gopal 


  19. @Justine Chew    

    Ref: Our work on the topic "Register of Skills & Interests (RoSI)"

    I am sure you would appreciate that the need for "competency mapping" on the lines we began through the work on RoSI will become more purposeful sooner than later. 

    I promised to focus of "Technology Related Topics" and I am preparing some core set of slides now and then for depositing on the APRALO Policy Forum Wiki Page. 

    As ICANN celebrates 25 Years, I thought this set of slides titled "Snapshots from the History of the Internet" may be useful.

    • Dr. T V Gopal
  20. Web Access to Full Stack

    Useful Notes:

    The ISO - OSI Reference Model specifies an "ideal" protocol stack. TCP/IP was developed before the ISO - OSI Reference model and does not explicitly contain all the layers.

    Each vendor had its own way of communicating between its own computers, but that didn't enable communication with other vendors' computers. It soon became clear that an agreed-upon standard was needed that permitted computers from all vendors to communicate with each other. And that standard is TCP/IP. 

    "Network Programming" over TCP/IP has always been a wonderful challenge. In theory one can combine the Physical and Datalink Layer or make everything above the Network Layer become the Application Layer. It is the ingenuity of programming over the network that drives all distributed computing even today.

    Observation: I have the highest respect for the ICANN Remit that does not look into the content of a website. However, as the DNS gets operational in the Application Layer, it is highly probable that ICANN deliberations can in an "indirect manner" go into cycles and circles.

    MUST READ CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY:

     Andrew S. Tanenbaum and David J Wetherall, "Computer Networks", Fifth Edition, Pearson Education (Prentice Hall), 2011.

    Experiencing Indic Scripts [An Ongoing Study with Special Thanks to ICANN]

    • Dr. T V Gopal


  21. Please note the numbers pertainng to the Internet and Mobile Users in India. This is an official source. The population is 144 Crores of which 120 Crores are on the Interner. May be of some help in thinking of the operating space in India.

    • Dr. T V Gopal
  22. I find this very useful in making quantitative (gu)estimates. This may also be shared with SubPro-IRT.

    • Dr. T V Gopal


  23. Most Needed Internet Topics (Technology)

    I find these topics culled out from my lectures very useful for the ICANN Meetings as well.

    An APNIC Meeting (2017) Slides on System Logs and Remote Logs that I find very useful in analytics. I prefer system logs than client side scripts for assuring data quality.

    Data from the logs usually includes:

    • IP address of the client
    • User name if logging on is necessary.
    • Date and Time
    • Page of file requested
    • Number of bytes returned,
    • Browser the client used
    • URL of page which contains the link
    • Any cookies.
    • Any errors

    During 2009 (14 Years back), I was actively involved in gathering data each month and a lot of information is feasible from the system logs. Currently, there is no scarcity of memory on many servers. One can get good trends on analytics over a span of time. Scripts on the Clients result in tracking. Logs have the informed consent of the user while tracking need not necessarily have.

    The real challenge is "Finding Meaning in hte Metrics".

    Log data provides a treasure trove of valuable information, capturing interactions, events, and anomalies happening within a system. It is best used for understanding system performance, identifying security breaches, and optimizing operational efficiency.

    Please note that views of pages which are cached are not counted on the system log as there is no activity on the server while accessing the cached page. Also, the latest search engines distort the system logs. Web analytics is presently a highly developed expertise.

    Content Delivery Networks (CDN) warrant Web Caching and due to the disconnect with server logs we end up with Factless Facts !!!

    • Dr. T V Gopal

    PS: A useful routine for log data is given below.

    There are manh advanced tools today. It is the organizational wisdom to seggregate different log data into Database Logs, Transaction Logs, Application Logs, System Logs, Audit Logs, Network Logs, and last but not the least Security Logs. Typically, improving the performance in a multi-user networked system is the goal. In my experience with "Tracing Data", a math emerges but invariably it is seldom the math.

  24. Seda Akbulut : For Circulation to the UASG Tech & Measurement Groups at your discretion

    I am doing a set of four 50 minutes lectures on "Universal Acceptance" to 17 PG Students. 

    The core of the lectures is attached. I have a slant on software technology.

    • Dr. T V Gopal 

    PS1: DotAsia conducted a 70-day sunrise period starting May 11, 2011 for second-level domain registrations in the Chinese, Japanese and Korean scripts. Hence the thankful focus. Please note that I could share three efforts Funredes, DotAsia and Tamilnet99 are case studies in these lectures.

    PS2: Slide 37: The Public Suffix List (PSL) is a machine-readable list of domain names that support subdomains operated by unaffiliated organizations. All top-level domains (TLDs) in the Domain Name System (DNS) are part of this list, and the PSL is an important component of how many applications function.

  25. Some Quick Notes:

    A public suffix is one under which Internet users can directly register names. It is related to, but different from, a TLD (top level domain).

    "com" is a TLD (top level domain). Top level means it has no dots.

    "com" is also a public suffix. 

    The "dot" makes a lot of difference indeed. "com.au" isn't an actual TLD, because it's not at the top level (it has dots). But it is an eTLD (effective TLD), because that's the branching point for domain name registrars. Another name for "an eTLD" is "a public suffix". eTLD+1, or one more label than the public suffix is used by the browsers to partition read/write access to HTTP cookies. There is no closed form algorithm to calculate the eTLD of a domain. Instead, the calculation is data driven. Hence the distinction between "Client Side Data" and "Server Side Data". 

    Web pages served from "amazon.com.au" can't read cookies from "google.com.au", but web pages served from "maps.google.com" can share cookies from "www.google.com". "maps.google.com" and "www.gogole.com" are good examples of eTLD+1: "google.com".

    Registry suffixes are a proper subset of public suffixes

    The Public Suffix List (PSL) is incorporated as a fundamental resource into some of the internet's most popular applications, including virtually all web browsers.  The Public Suffix List is a cross-vendor initiative to provide an accurate list of domain name suffixes. Almost all popular browsers use for "Restricting cookie setting". There are other uses as well.

    It is useful to note that, the Public Suffix List is a small text file containing a set of internet top-level domains controlled by registrars, under which users can directly register domains.

    The programmability of mapping "human - readable names" to "machine processable ones" is indeed a challenge that is always intricate with the usage of "dot" (or as the slang goes "doubt"). 

    • Dr. T V Gopal

    PS: Blockchain is a current topic. At the risk of make it appear too simple, I describe blockchain as a distributed database, which means multiple copies are saved on many machines, and they must all match for it to be valid. The number of copies and the method of getting all of them match to be valid is a good design challenge.

  26. APRALO Policy Forum 2023 Year End Report

    The APRALO Policy Forum has had yet another productive year 2023, having delivered a range of activities for APRALO amidst 3 ICANN Public Meetings and the 2023 APRALO General Assembly. Following is a summary by way of achievements and recommendations.

    Achievements

      • Established strong planning practice with targeted focus, also standard delivery practices
      • Covered ALL of APRALO’s Regional Priorities except for 2
        • 1c- Take greater cognizance of ”global public interest” applicability
        • 2a- Increase involvement in DNS Abuse mitigation
        • Remedial action in the works
      • Engaged good number of APRALO participants (and non-APRALO ones too)
      • Instituted end-user-driven regional cross-community networking
      • Introduced 2 new activities: APF Town Hall Meeting, APRALO ICANN Readout
        • Outputs to serve as inputs for planning, regional strategy and/or action

    Recommendations

    • Review APRALO Regional Priorities 2023-2024 and update where necessary
    • Consider a combination of inward and outward activities for even greater impact; also
      • Use of polls, surveys
      • Single topic consultations – align with CPWG
      • Institution of better participant metrics – to align with Project RoSI
      • Regard for continuous improvement

    The full report is attached below.

    1. Justine Chew 

      Many thanks for the report that is very nice to read as always. We keep progressing into 2024. I wish you all the very best with ALAC too.

      • Dr. T V Gopal
  27. Satish Babu with a request to keep the focus on standard terminnology and groups of TLDs for better clarity on IDNs

    Domain Name System (DNS) and Name Resolution

    DNS is an Application-layer protocol. The Application layer is the top-most layer on the TCP/IP Model.

    From an application’s point of view, access to the DNS is through an application library called a resolver. This is a lot more technical that mere parsing of the doman name as a string of characters.

    An application must convert a host name to an IPv4 and/or IPv6 address before it can ask TCP to open a connection. The TCP and IP protocol implementations know nothing about the DNS; they operate only with the addresses.  UDP is another option but TCP / IP is the most dominant.

    The DNS name space is partitioned hierarchically and is case insensitive. 

    Presently, the DNS name space is a tree of domains with an unnamed root at the top. The upper echelons of the tree are the top-level domains (TLDs) that include:

    • Generic TLDs (gTLDs)
    • Country-code TLDs (ccTLDs)
    • Internationalized country-code TLDs (IDN ccTLDs)
    • A special infrastructure TLD called, for historical reasons, ARPA [RFC3172]

    The gTLDs are grouped into categories:

    • Generic
    • Generic-restricted
    • Sponsored

    The most common view of the hierarchy that is often into the discussions is seen in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: Commonly discussed DNS Hierarchy

    However, there are five commonly used groups of TLDs, and one of these groups is that of specialized domains used for internationalized domain names (IDNs). Please see the schematic hierarchical chart in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Grouping the TLDs in the DNS Hierarchy in focus on scoping IDNs 

    The resolution of the IDNs stemming from the scoping of LGR may become clearer with Figure 2.

    • Dr. T V Gopal


  28. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024.

    Ongoing "TECHNOLOGY READINESS SURVEY" for Meghalaya, India at:

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeYFb8dcoraMRVFJtlEeMQR-OW_oyAnn7Y6Vgodo9TwLG8OEQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

    I am serving as the Outstation Chairman, Computer Science Research Committee for the 47th Indian Social Science Congress being organized at Meghalaya, India during 2 - 5 February 2024.. This is with due approval from Anna University.

    This event is being organized by the Indian Social Science Academy (ISSA) established on August 15, 1974 at Allahabad. ISSA is perhaps the oldest academy to have a multi-lingual focus in its objectives.. ISSA is celebrating its Golden Jubilee in this year 2024.

    Meghalaya is located in the North - East India and is a hilly region. It is also called "Scotland of India". The state is a home for several languages being used.

    Satish Babu UA Day is difficult during this congress. However, I can manage a session. Please note that it is all in-person event and there is no financial support for the speaker. 

    Seda Akbulut You may want to consider mentioning this survey in one of UA Tech Working Group meetings and possibly minute it even if I miss the meeting. Thanks in advance.

    After all due approvals, the Survey went online on 1 January 2024. There were nearly 300 responses and the Data Analytics did a validation on the responses. The first presentation of the Survey results was on Thursday, 8 February 2024 during the 47th Indian Social Science Congress. The presentation is attached below.

    For the records: Meghalaya is one of the Seven Sister States of northeast India formed on 21 January 1972. Meghalaya is mountainous, with stretches of valley and highland plateaus. The state is the wettest region of India. The word Meghalaya means "the abode of clouds"; derives from a compound of the Sanskrit words megha, "cloud" + ā-laya, "abode".

    Seda Akbulut Usage of this presentation is at your discretion. I thank the UA - Tech WG for the nice interactions.

    • Dr. T V Gopal

    PS: Just completed the review for a manuscript submitted to the  Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies related to the Minority Languages in Hong Kong  in  Chungking Mansions.