Molly Torsen


At the top of the homepage of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a choice of nine different languages in which to read information about the organization; four of them are languages written in non-Latin script (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian). Clicking upon any of the language options brings the reader to a new website in that language and, presuming the reader has a computer and screen that can handle non-Latin script, the webpage reads legibly and clearly. The Uniform Resource Locator (URL), however, still reads in Latin script despite the webpage’s content being in a foreign script. This article will examine the current state of affairs in policy-oriented Internet realms and suggest that the cohesive development of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), which are domain names in character sets other than American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), is a critical step to take in order to more fully utilize the potential the Internet offers for international communication.

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