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Message from AFNIC (.fr) to ICANN

From: Jean-Yves Babonneau
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2003 12:33 AM
To: Anne Rachel Inné
Cc: Olivier Guillard; Loic Damilaville
Subject: Re: AFNIC et Wildcard

AFNIC, registry of ".fr", deeply regrets the recent introduction of wildcards records in the ".com" and ".net" zones. AFNIC promised not to use such wildcards in ".fr" (see the official statement at <>, in French only).

Such wildcards are an important factor of confusion for users (whose software is no longer able to tell the difference between a real name and a synthetized one) and raise very serious privacy issues (the ability to store at least a part of the email and Web activity).

A change so substantial in the management of a public resource should never be introduced without a long and deep public discussion with all the stakeholders, something which did not occur in that case.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."