ICANN makes progress on international domain names

During its meeting in Puerto Rico, ICANN made good progress on issues like international domain names, leaders said.

Participants made good progress discussing changes to Internet governance during an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting in Puerto Rico that closed on Friday, leaders of the organization said.

One topic that leaders worked on was the future enablement of non-Latin characters in domain names. ICANN hopes to support Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese and other characters in the future but that's easier said than done.

In 2003, ICANN made an attempt to widen the acceptable characters but found that its rules were too permissive, said Vint Cerf, ICANN's chairman. "There could be confusion between similar registrations that might mislead users," he said during a conference call to discuss the meeting.

One potential source of confusion is that some characters in different alphabets might look similar but mean different things. For example, in Cyrillic, the word for "restaurant" looks in the Latin alphabet like "pectopaht." That opens the door for users to register domains in different languages in a way that could confuse users. ICANN hopes to develop rules that will prevent such confusion.

ICANN plans to be able to test the use of international domain names live on the Internet by November. The test will include a mechanism to take them out instantly if they create a problem, Cerf said. The group has already tested the process in the lab. "We are confident that none of the infrastructure is likely to encounter problems but you never really know until it's in that live environment," he said.

The meeting also included a discussion on continuing to encourage IPV6 use. That's particularly important now because ICANN has determined the current system, supported by IPV4, for allocating the numerical address space will exhaust available numbers around 2011 or 2012, Cerf said. The wide adoption of IPV6 will support the continued addition of new numerical addresses.

Cerf said there was significant progress in efforts to enable digital signatures to help authenticate the match between domain names and Internet addresses. The digital signature would validate that the Internet address associated with a domain name wasn't corrupted, either maliciously or accidentally. "This is a significant change in the core architecture of DNS [domain name system]," he said.

The group also worked on developing a more regular process for allowing the introduction of additional generic top-level domains. ICANN worked on such policies in 2000 and 2003 and will take those experiences and try to establish a more regular practice for making additional domain names available, Cerf said. ICANN is on track for the introduction of new domains by the middle of 2008.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?