Internationalized domain names (IDNs) will be one of the central topics at ICANN's 36th International Public Meeting, which takes place October 25-30 in Seoul, South Korea. "This is an extremely important meeting for ICANN, since the IDN program is moving one step closer to reshaping the global Internet landscape," says ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom. "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."
ICANN Board chairman Peter Dengate Thrush calls the creation of non-Latin domains "the biggest change technically to the Internet since it was invented 40 years ago." Thrush predicts that the board will grant approval for the new domains on Oct. 30, the final day of the conference. Following that approval, Beckstrom projects that the organization will begin accepting applications for non-Latin domain names sometime in mid 2010. "This change is very much necessary for not only half the world's Internet users today, but more than half of probably the future users as the use of the Internet continues to spread," Beckstrom says.
Other issues that will be brought up at the meeting will include the affirmation of commitments, which deals with IDNs and ICANN's governance, as well as generic top-level domains and their expansion and Internet security.
From USA Today
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