The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has announced the launch of its second and final phase of consultation toward the implementation of French characters (Internationalized domain names) into .CA domains. Speculated to be employed in the distinction of French Canadian companies, the CIRA asks Canadians to provide feedback on plans for utilization later this year or in early 2013.
“Internationalized Domain Names are critical to enable Canadians to register and access domain names in both of Canada’s official languages,” says Byron Holland, CIRA’s President and CEO. “The level of response we received during the first phase of the consultation demonstrates how important this issue is to our Registrants.”
The CIRA first inquired into this possibility in September of last year. Collecting online submissions through December 5th, 2011, the CIRA’s 12-week consultation received a tremendous amount of feedback.
Those in favour of French accent availability in domains believed that its implementation would support and protect the French language as well as help provide distinction in word definition online.
“I'm in favor if this solution. Perhaps because my last name has 2 accents of a 4 letters word... Nonetheless, I do, international business in Canada and also in the 3 major French speaking provinces. You cannot imagine how many times French speaking clients asked me... eh! Can I purchase my domain with the ''é''... Even English speaking client that have a café [could use this distinction],” said one submission.
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On the other hand, those against implementation had good reasons as well. Concerns over domain registration costs and/or fraud, phishing and cybersquatting opportunities from the new domains were cited.
“I think it's a good idea to allow accented characters as an alternate spelling of non-accented ones. * But I think it would be a really bad idea to allow préside.ca and preside.ca to be two distinct domain names. All kinds of confusion will ensue. Even native speakers of French, and non-native speakers even more so, are often terrible at spelling accents right.* Allowing such domain names would also make phishing much easier. Suppose there is an entity called ottawabank.ca. In order to protect themselves from phishing attacks using internationalized domain names, this entity would now have to register 53 new domain names…If they don't register every one of them, someone will use it in a phishing attack. The cost and burden of registering 53 new domain names just to protect a single existing one is unreasonable,” said another submission.
Based on over 350 comments and 50 submissions from the first round, the CIRA has revised its proposed policy and is asking for comments on its second round of consultations. Canadians are able to comment through February 24th on this revised policy at idnconsultation.ca.