A recent article in New Scientist reports on the imminent release of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from U.S. national control. ICANN is responsible for maintaining the various technical standards that make the Internet possible on a low level.
Under an Affirmation agreement with the U.S. department of commerce ICANN will not be coordinated by any specific government, allowing representatives from many countries to take part. The likely offshoot is that Internet standards will become more inclusive of Internet users outside America. For instance, the article reports that we might reasonably expect domain names to be available in Chinese and Arabic characters in little more than a year. They also report that current browsers cannot access domain names written in these scripts, which is quite right, but a reasonably small change I cannot see any major browser manufacturer delaying in releasing to their customers.
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