Journal: Internet Language Shake-Out

Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Key Players

By Jonathan Fildes
Technology reporter, BBC News

The internet is on the brink of the “biggest change” to its working “since it was invented 40 years ago”, the net regulator Icann has said.

The body said it that it was finalising plans to introduce web addresses using non-Latin characters.

The proposal – initially approved in 2008 – would allow domain names written in Asian, Arabic or other scripts.

The body said if the final plans were approved on 30 October, it would accept the first applications by 16 November.

The first Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) could be up and running by “mid 2010” said the president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

“Of the 1.6 billion internet users today worldwide, more than half use languages that have scripts that are not Latin-based,” said Rod Beckstrom at the opening of Icann’s conference in Seoul, South Korea.

“So this change is very much necessary for not only half the world’s internet users today but more than half, probably, of the future users as the internet continues to spread.”

Phi Beta Iota: The US “intelligence” community does not do the 33 core languages well, and does not do the other 150 languages at all.  This means that fairly soon, all of the technical investments and all of the security protocols that have characterized the CIA’s Open Source Center (OSC), will be largely worthless.  Deja vu.