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Won't someone think of the .children, begs Russian registry

.ru operator to ask ICANN for kid-friendly TLD

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The company that runs Russia's .ru internet address has revealed plans to apply to ICANN for the right to operate ".children" in Russian.

Moscow-based registry operator Coordination Center for TLD RU said it will apply for .ДЕТИ when ICANN opens the floodgates for unlimited new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) next January.

CEO Andrey Kolesnikov said in a statement that the .children domain would be "an internet space reserved exclusively for the youngest users". It's believed to be the first time an application has been announced for a completely new, non-geographic gTLD in a non-Latin script.

Global domain name overseer ICANN will accept applications for any new extension between January 12 and April 12 next year, and bids are no longer restricted to the Latin characters used in English and similar languages.

Over the last two years ICANN has approved more than 20 "internationalised domain name" translations of existing country-codes extensions in scripts including Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese.

The .ru administrators introduced the Cyrillic .РФ (which translates as ".RF", for Russian Federation) to the internet a year ago, to great success. It has so far taken over 930,000 domain registrations, and expects to break through one million before the end of the year.

VeriSign and Afilias, which run .com and .info respectively, have also announced plans to apply for transliterations of their existing gTLDs. But Russia's CC is the first company to say it will apply for a completely new string in a non-Latin alphabet.

There have been various moves over the years to create kid-friendly extensions in English. The .kids gTLD was first proposed to ICANN in 2000 by ICM Registry – the company that now runs .xxx – but failed to win approval.

Later, US politicians made the launch of a protected .kids.us space one of the conditions of awarding the .us registry contract to Neustar in 2003.

Proposals for child-friendly addresses usually come in for criticism due to the difficulty of defining what a "kid" is – a 17-year-old and an eight-year-old have few interests in common – and the problems associated with policing web content. ®

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