Big change coming if non-English addresses approved

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

October 26, 2009

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The Internet is set to undergo one of the biggest changes in its 40-year history with the expected approval of domain names that can be written in languages other than English.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN -- the non-profit group that oversees domain names – is holding a meeting this week in Seoul, South Korea. Domain names are the monikers behind every Web site, e-mail address and Twitter post, such as ".com" and other suffixes.

Allowing entire Internet addresses in scripts that are not based on Latin letters could potentially open up the Web to more people around the world. Addresses could be in characters as diverse as Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Hindi and Cyrillic.

An ICANN official says he expects the board to grant approval on Friday, the conference's final day.

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