EURid, UNESCO to present report on IDNs

The .eu registry EURid and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will present on 6 November a report on the global uptake of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs).

The study is planned to go out at the 7th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan and it will present updates to the report published in 2011 on the global use of Internationalised domain names which support non-Latin scripts and multilingualism online.

IDNs* have become strongly linked with Internet governance discussions on multilingualism. Of approximately 6 000 languages in the world, only 12 languages accounted for 98% of Internet web pages in 2008, while, according to UNESCO data, English was the dominant language online with 72% of web pages.

According to last year’s joint report, the introduction of IDNs in the Internet root domain was an important milestone in the development of multilingualism on the Internet, especially for non-Latin scripts, including Arabic and Cyrillic.

In addition, the study concluded that IDNs were only one factor in achieving a multilingual Internet, but there was what more to be done to achieve this aim, including securing basic Internet access for the majority of the world’s population, as well as strengthening the environment for creating local language content.

Furthermore, the links between IDN registrations and local languages were classified as ‘strong’, as for example the intensity of .eu IDN registrations in Greece (Greek script) and Bulgaria (Cyrillic script).

Last but not least, it was suggested that implementation of key services like email would further benefit uptake, making IDNs fully useable.

On the other hand, keeping in mind that by 2016 around 50% of the world population is expected to be also internet users, the threats associated with growth of domain names increase. Among the most common threats associated with growth of domain names include phishing, counterfeiting and digital piracy.

Interest towards domain names is definitely growing with every single year. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) for example published in June this year a list containing more than 1 900 new domain name suggestions. Out of the 1 900 new suggestions, only 166 were of non-Latin scripts.

by Stanislava Gaydazhieva

Leave a Reply