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article imageICANN approves non-English domain names

By Melissa Horrocks     Oct 30, 2009 in Internet
A change that will transform the Internet and users experience is being accepted by officials at the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This change is the most dramatic the Internet has seen in 40 years.
The Internet world is always changing, but it will be completely transformed if plans move forward to permit non-Latin-script Web addresses. This plan has been announced recently and has been accepted by the Internet regulator ICANN.
When the board of ICANN held its yearly meeting in Seoul, South Korea, it voted in favour of allowing domain names in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.
The BBC reports that the Internet has never seen a more significant move.
If this move goes ahead, we could see the very first Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) next year. The Internet's Domain Name System would have to be altered so it can recognize and translate non-Latin characters.
ICANN acknowledges this is a complex technical feature that would transform Internet coding first designed 40 years ago. When the Internet was first created, there were very few users and the majority of them could speak English or understand the Latin language, but nowadays there are people all over the world using the Internet and this feature is necessary.
ICANN agreed to accept the first applications for IDNs towards the middle of November and the first ones would be put in motion by the middle of 2010. Chinese and Arabic scripts will probably be the first one's chosen, with Russian following shortly after.
China and Thailand have already set workarounds permitting Internet users to input Web addresses in their own language, but these are not approved internationally.
More about Internet addresses, Change, Domain names, Regulator
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