Andy Atkins-Kruger

Non-Latin characters in domain names could break the internet, ICANN Chief says

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, ICANN Chief Executive Paul Twomey has complained of the organisation coming under ‘signficant politicial pressure’ at a recent UN Athens conference to allow non-Latin standard characters to be used in domain names. This, he says, could “Break the whole internet”.

Australian Twomey, was speaking in Sydney and is quoted as saying “The internet is like a fifteen story building, and with international domain names what we’re trying to do is change the bricks in the basement.”

Pressure is coming from organisations such as the African Academy of Languages in Mali. President Adama Samassekou believes that the anglo-centric nature of the internet leaves people feeling marginalised. He says, “I think the digital divide is not as important as the linguistic divide. And that’s the one we should be bridging in order to guarantee the democratic governance of the internet.”

There are presently 37 characters which can be used in domain names – allowing international characters would increase this to 50,000.

Andy Atkins-Kruger
Andy is the CEO of Webcertain. He is a trained linguist with 20 years experience in international marketing, having helped major brand leaders with their advertising and public relations projects on five continents. Webcertain has been operating multilingual search marketing campaigns for over 15 years and is one of few agencies which only deal with international campaigns; the company doesn't deal in single market projects. Andy speaks regularly at conferences around the world, writes for the Multinational Search column of SearchEngineLand.com and is the Managing Editor of the Multilingual Search blog.

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