The Internet Has Been Internationalized


Last month, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") approved the adoption of internationalized domain names (IDNs"). IDNs are intended to replace the last portion of a domain name, such as dot-com or dot-org, with non-Latin scripts, such as Chinese or Arabic, among others. By introducing IDNs, ICANN hopes to make the Internet more accessible to millions of people around the world who, in part, struggle with the use of Latin characters. Thus, after years of testing, studying and discussion, ICANN will initially allow IDNs, beginning November 16, 2009, for country codes, such as dot-kr (for Korea) or dot-ru (for Russia), before expanding to all types of address names. This historic change will end a monopoly by Latin letters which has endured since the Web's inception.

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