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Liaison statement
Liaison statement from the IAB to the Unicode Technical Committee

Additional information about IETF liaison relationships is available on the IETF webpage and the Internet Architecture Board liaison webpage.
State Posted
Submitted Date 2017-05-17
From Group IAB
From Contact Ted Hardie
To Contacts Craig Cummings <>
Lisa Moore <>
Cc The IAB Chair <>
The IAB Executive Director <>
The IAB <>
Patrik Fältström <>
Response Contact The IAB Chair <>
The IAB Executive Director <>
Purpose For information
Attachments (None)
The IETF liaison to the Unicode Consortium has brought the text of an update to
Unicode Technical Standard #39 to the attention of the Internet Architecture
Board.  In reviewing the text, we note that the document has changed scope and
now contains a Security Profile for email identifiers in section 3.3.  That
section references the IETF’s EAI standards and notes that they do not contain
conformance standards.  It appears, however,  not to recognize that the IETF
has significant bodies of work both on email interoperability and on the
matching of email addresses in security contexts (e.g. in  RFC 5280 and its
pending update, draft-housley-rfc5280-i18n-update-01).

We are concerned that the text in section 3.3 does not match the deployed
landscape of local part matching and that systems built to conform to it would
fail to interoperate with deployed Internet email systems.  Further, we believe
that it fails to adequately consider the need to align this matching with the
standards which govern the use of email address in certificates and other
security contexts.  We would be happy to work with the Unicode Technical
Committee to provide pointers to the appropriate IETF documents or to develop
appropriate text should that be required.

In advance of that collaboration, we request that the Unicode Consortium remove
section 3.3 from UTS #39 as soon as possible and mark it with an erratum if
such removal cannot be immediate.