ICANN: Preparing to internationalize domains

In August, we discussed Chile’s move to internationalize the .cl domain, by allowing for non-english letters, such as “ñ”, “ü” and 7 other international characters. It was certainly an exciting step.

But for global internet users and companies as a whole, ICANN’s announcement of a plan to start testing domain names that are entirely composed of non-english characters, is a much more exciting move. Given the speed at which web globalization is spreading, it’s certainly about time that domains caught up.

Of everything comes with time and caution. “The tests would help ensure that introducing non-English suffixes wouldn’t wreck a global addressing system that millions of Internet users rely upon every day.”

Representatives from all over the world are being invited to participate in the discussions committee, which will commence with public input in April. In May, the committee will present the amended plan to ICANN for approval in June. If all moves smoothly, testing will commence in July.

Sources:

DMEurope

One Response to ICANN: Preparing to internationalize domains

  1. Nick Wilsdon says:

    It’s a great move for the non-English internet but I am concerned about the phishing dangers international domain names open up.

    Wikipedia on Spoofing with International Domains

    I get several emails of this type a day (some are becoming very convincing!) and it is only by examination of the URL that you discover the destination URL is in fact not your bank/building society etc.

    I have seen that IE 7 is trying to tackle this with a notification for the user but we’re yet to see how well this will work. If people see this as a security threat they may well turn off the capacity for IDN all together which would hit the marketing potential of these sites. From the article referenced above.

    Users who do not wish to see Unicode addresses may set an Internet Control Panel option to “Always show encoded addresses”.

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