Foreign Domain Names Coming to Net

After years of complaints, ICANN fast tracks non-Latin web addresses
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2007 3:45 PM CST
Incoming ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush is seen in this Oct. 29, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes. File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Soon, Chinese domain names can at long last be in Chinese. Addressing one of international critics’ longest-standing complaints, ICANN, the independent non-profit that regulates the Internet, is putting internationalized domain names on the fast track, ZDNet reports. Studies are already underway on how to integrate domains with non-Latin characters into the net’s framework, and what technical impact that would have.

ICANN said it would focus on “areas of highest need” first. “This fast-track process will really be driven by those who want to take part and get their name in their language on their Internet in their country,” said one ICANN executive. The announcement comes hot on the heels of new chairman Peter Dengate Thrush’s election to replace Internet pioneer Vint Cerf.