Everything you know about internet url’s is about to change. Well, not everything.
According to a recent article in PC World, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has given the green light for a change called IDN, also known as internationalized domain names.
IDN will allow non Latin characters to be used in the entire web address of websites. Prior to the change, domains could only use a few non Latin characters, but now their whole website name can be in non Latin characters. Some people are excited about the change because it will encourage more people around the world to use the internet. According to an article on CNET, “IDNs will let people who write in Chinese, Korean, or Arabic use their own languages to surf the Web, and is expected to jump-start Internet use in many regions across the globe.” For many around the world, especially in China the change is more than welcome.
However, some believe it’s opening the door for mishap. Since, the IDN will allow users to create websites in their native tongue, this means some companies will have to do more policing of their site names across the web, in order to protect them. Imagine, Walmart.com having to make sure there isn’t an imposter using their name in another language. Plus homoglyphs (defined by Wikipedia as one of two or more characters, or glyphs, with shapes that either appear identical or cannot be differentiated by quick visual inspection) may become an even bigger issue. It may be a little harder to tell real sites from fake ones. Do you see the difference between these two websites at first glance- google.com and goÃ³gle.com?
It should be interesting to see the difference this change will make on internet users as well as companies. It may not be as easy to find the bargain site on the internet when the url changes to non Latin letters. On the other hand, it will allow more people to interact with different cultures. Whether you’re for or against it, the change is taking place.