[LINK] ICANN's non-Latin domain names

Scott Howard scott at doc.net.au
Sun Jan 3 12:06:56 AEDT 2010

Good to see the press hasn't actually learnt anything in the past few
months. Short version is that what this article believes will be a problem
has been in place for several years.

I wrote the following on another list around the time ICANN approved the
non-latin ccTLD's :

Most of the press has really lost the plot on this one...

Non-latin domain names (aka International Domain Names, or IDNs) have
existed for years.  That's not to say that you can register a domain with a
non-latin character in it (and nor will you be able to under the new ICANN
rules), but there is a mapping scheme that exists to translate non-latin
characters into the 37 distinct characters allow within the standard DNS
system, using a translation called "punnycode".

For example, try going to http://mañana.com
<http://ma%c3%b1ana.com/>(presuming my mail client inserts that
correctly...) and you should find
that the URL changes to
http://xn--maana-pta.com/  That's not a redirect -
mañana.com<http://xn--maana-pta.com>in punycode maps to
xn--maana-pta.com, so _your browser_ converts it for you, and does the DNS
lookup for the encoded domain name.

At that point normal DNS rules apply - the hostname now contains only valid
DNS characters, and thus it looks it up normally.

What ICANN have passed in the past few days is the use of IDN's for ccTLD.
ie, they are now going to allow registering a country-code Top Level Domains
which include non-latin characters.

Today domains written in non-latin characters still need to end in a
"normal" TLD.  eg, no matter what Chinese characters you put in your domain,
it's still going to end in the latin characters .cn or .com, etc. This new
ruling will allow for the creation of top-level domains which are themselves
encoded in punycode, so it will now be possible for a domain to consist
_entirely_ of non-latin characters, including the top-level domain part.


On Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 4:52 PM, Ivan Trundle <ivan at itrundle.com> wrote:

> http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6971724.ece
> Interesting, but I can see some people with older browsers (and older
> minds) getting caught out when following a link to buy something via
> paypal.com (in Russian Cyrillic letters, which in Latin should be '
> raural.com').
> I suppose the same thing can happen with paypa1.com (etc), too...
> iT
> --
> Ivan Trundle
> http://itrundle.com ivan at itrundle.com
> ph: +61 (0)418 244 259 fx: +61 (0)2 6286 8742 skype: callto://ivanovitchk
> _______________________________________________
> Link mailing list
> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> http://mailman.anu.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/link

More information about the Link mailing list