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ICANN goes to Korea so web addresses can go global

Plan for Arabic, Chinese domain names

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ICANN meets in Seoul, South Korea this week, and top of the agenda are proposals to allow web addresses in non-Latin script, opening the way for Japanese, Arabic and other web addresses.

The week-long meeting is expected to approve an initial limited use of "International Domain Names" before the end of the year.

Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's president and CEO, said: “In Seoul, we plan to move forward to the next step in the internationalization of the Internet, which means that eventually people from every corner of the globe will be able to navigate much of the online world using their native language scripts.”

The group will also be discussing generic top-level domains - the .com bit of web addresses. There are currently 21 different domains but there is a proposal to increase this to almost any word. There is a separate move to allow a .gay top level domain.

The group will also discuss internet security and the success it had working with Microsoft, Symantec and others to counter the Conficker worm.

ICANN's statement is available as here (pdf). ®

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