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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for Russia to be assigned an Internet domain name in the Cyrillic script on Wednesday as part of a Kremlin drive to promote Russian as a global language.
The Kremlin is concerned that Russian, once the main language throughout the Soviet Union, is losing ground to local languages and to the creeping influence of English. It sees defending Russian as a matter of national pride.
He said 300 million people worldwide used Russian media and that a Cyrillic domain name would be a key part of raising the importance of Russian as a language, a task he said was his personal priority as president.
Russia's New President Medvedev Wants Cyrillic Internet Domain [uk.reuters.com]
There are significant issues still outstanding before they can be fully released.
Arguments are still happening over which language sets should be included and then there are the issues of certain language sets having characters that are very similar to standard latin set - which could lead to much more sophisticated phishing scams.
English is the global language, period. He's three hundred years too late to change that and the last time I was in Russia nearly everyone spoke it almost as well as I'd does.
English is the global language, but nothing prevents that from changing, and change it will (I hope). There is nothing more destructive to human kind (after destroying our environment) than to uniformize cultures across the world.
Recently I read that the number of pages in Chinese are the same as in English now, so you should review your claims before you make them.
We have web pages in tons of characters and that helps people to enrich and grow their cultures (don't forget, print is always been a tool for cultural development, and print has now become web-print), so I believe the ICANN should move faster to adopting other scripts in domain names, with the appropriate safeguards in place to stop phishing (honestly, I don't see how you can really phish someone with a url in Urdu; and many Cyrillic characters aren't that similar to Latin ones).
I know most folks mean well, however I ask that we avoid nationalist comments of all kinds, even comments made in jest or self-effacement.
[edited by: Webwork at 9:26 pm (utc) on June 12, 2008]
Likewise, the Internet started here in America, just so, I think it could be argued that the base "go to" language should really be English. Of course that logic only makes sense for infrastructure related issues. Clearly, content on the national TLDs belonging to nations whose first language is not English logically would be their own languages. However, to keep a stable infrastructure, there need be some base standard everyone can depend upon for stability reasons.
That said, it is also most important to respect the global nature of the Internet, so having the ability to understand and respond to agent headers which support other languages is both a respectful and reasonable business decision. After all, is that not why UTF-8 and IDN exist?
(honestly, I don't see how you can really phish someone with a url in Urdu; and many Cyrillic characters aren't that similar to Latin ones)
The problem I believe lies in the fact that the current IDN proposals have the ability for you to mix characters from latin and other character sets in the same domain name (because of the special characters in many european character sets). This means that it would only take a single character being close to a latin character for phishing opportunities to be very significant.
And if people have trouble typing the ♥ character, then well that's what makes one domain better than another, isn't it?
It would start an *enormous* land rush.
I'm sure we'll see bogus phisher domains like ébay.com, but honestly they're already using dumb domains like "www.paypal.spe.cialoffers.com" and get away with it. Limiting domains to an anglocentric character set is not effective at stopping phishers. So why keep the rule?
ooh - this forum turned my special characters into htmlentities! how nifty
China did very well handling its own set of Chinese character domain extensions
China also does well when it comes to content filtering that the Govt does not think its own citizens should have access to, also jailing dissidents. That's really what this proposal is about - every authoritarian state wants to control access to information as otherwise brainwashing becomes that little bit harder to achieve, so when it comes to the Internet they really need full control over DNS - creation of "local" domains fits the bill perfectly.
In practical terms there is so much software that relies on DNS name being made of latin alpha characters (plus numerics and a few more) that changing all this is not an easy thing to do.
... wait, until the Greek, Ethiopian, Arab, Thai, Chinese, or whoever else, will hear about this ...
ICANN has already tested IDN TLD's using the .test TLD in the open DNS in many languages including Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrow and others -
It is likely that ICANN is negotiating with national bodies on the specifics of the new national TLD's.
This seems to me more like a politician trying to claim credit for what is impending.