For use by students enrolled in LWN117, Cyberlaw and Policy (QUT).
As the geographical extent of the Internet continues to grow, so too should its linguistic diversity.At present, the internet's main traffic directories know only 37 characters: 26 letters of the Latin script used in English, 10 numerals and a hyphen.No wonder countries such as China, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia are forging ahead with internationalized domain names (IDNs) without ICANN's approval. These countries are no longer willing to wait for ICANN to develop a standard approach for inserting IDN records into the root zone of the DNS.However, there are fears that IDNs undermine the Internet itself, which is based on a shared namespace that originates in a single root. ICANN's delay in supporting IDNs could result in a permanent splintering of the DNS, which would create many small networks run by individual countries rather than a single, global Internet.
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