ICANN Moves Ahead with Multilingual Domains
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers unanimously approves the use of non-Latin scripts such as Hindi and Hebrew in web addresses. The vote comes after years of dispute over how non-Latin characters would impact the security and stability of the domain naming system.Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved Oct. 30 the new Internationalized Domain Name Fast Track Process to allow nations and territories to apply for Internet extensions reflecting their name - and made up of characters from their national language. Currently, Internet address endings are limited to Latin characters. If the applications meet criteria that includes government and community support and a stability evaluation, the applicants will be approved to start accepting registrations Nov. 16.
"This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet," ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom said in a statement. "The first countries that participate will not only be providing valuable information of the operation of IDNs in the domain name system, they are also going to help to bring the first of billions more people online - people who never use Roman characters in their daily lives."