ICANN Approves the Use of International Domain Names

October 31st, 2009 at 12:00 am

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit organization and looks over domain names, has approved the use of international domain names (written in non-Latin characters) for Internet addresses during a meeting this week in Seoul. 

This means that web addresses written in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hindi, Thai, Cyrillic, or Arabic are can now be registered for websites that do not use English as the primary language. 

This development was approved after an extensive two-year testing period and would open the World Wide Web to more than half of the 1.6 billion Internet users whose first language is not English.  The system works by utilizing a translation engine that can convert Latin addresses into other languages and vice versa.

There are, however, concerns over the possibility of using international addresses as phishing domains disguised as addresses written in Latin.

ICANN would begin accepting registrations for non-Latinate domain names, while the first addresses will likely become live sometime in mid 2010.