There is a very important and interesting IDN Workshop going on right now. There is a web case. If you're interested, I suggest you tune in. We're talking about it on #joiito and #icann on irc.freenode.net.
Global Voices has undergone a redesign. Nice look. Congrats to all involved.
I wonder how they are going to embargo the Internet...Raincoast BooksRaincoast Books Obtains Injunction Against Early Disclosure and Reviews of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Madam Justice Gill of the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted to Raincoast Books Distribution Ltd., Bloomsbury Plc and JK Rowling, a John/Jane Doe injunction against the copying or disclosing of all or any part of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or any information derived therefrom including without limitation the story, plot or characters of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to any person prior to 12:01 a.m. local time on July 16th...
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL HARRY POTTER FANS
We know that many children and adults around the world cannot wait to read the new book, but we urge anyone who may have bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at The Real Canadian Superstore, 3000 Lougheed Highway, Coquitlam, British Columbia on Thursday July, 7, 2005, where it was temporarily placed on sale early or who have otherwise obtained it before July 16th 2005, to return their copies to Raincoast Books for just a few more days to preserve the excitement for all Harry Potter fans alike...
I don't know how much deep thought was involved when George Bush called the Internet "the internets" but this reflects a real risk that we face today. If you look at the traffic of many large countries with non-English languages, you will find that the overwhelming majority of the traffic stays inside the country. In countries like China and Japan where there is sufficient content in the local language and most people can't or don't like to read English this is even more so. I would say that the average individual probably doesn't really notice the Internet outside of their country or really care about content not in their native language.
Physical mail inside of these countries is delivered with addressing in their local language. It's not surprising that on the issue of International Domain Names (IDNs) there is a strong and emotion position inside of these countries that people should be able to write URLs in their native scripts. Take my name for example, the same Chinese characters for my name can be transliterated into English as either Johichi Itoh or Joichi Ito. This problem is aggravated in languages such as Chinese where there are more dialects and many more readings for the same set of characters. Why should these people be forced to learn some sort of roman transliteration in order to access the company page where they know the official Chinese characters for the names.
Similarly, there are people who don't like the policies of the Internet and either want to censor or otherwise manage differently THEIR internet. Others who don't like the way DNS works, have proposed alternative roots. This is possible and easy to do, but you end up with "the internets".
It is the fact that we have a single root and that we have global policies and protocols which allows the Internet to be a single network and allows anyone to reach anyone else in the world. Clearly, allowing anyone in the world to reach anyone else in the world with a single click introduces a variety of problems, but it creates a single global network which allows dialog and innovation to be shared worldwide without going through gateways or filters. This attribute of the Internet is a key to the future of a global democracy and I believe we need to fight to preserve this.
Since more and more people are using the Internet, there are more and more diverse views about the policies and control. This is clearly making consensus more difficult and ICANN is one of the groups which is having to adapt to the increasing number of inputs in the consensus process. This is all the more reason to work harder to keep everything together. Please. Lets fight to keep the Internet and not let it turn into the internets... It is a difficult process with various flaws, but if we give up, it will be very difficult if not impossible for all of to talk again very soon.