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Web Addresses Going Global

The body in charge of assigning the world's Web users their online addresses has agreed to allow the use of any of the world's scripts, no longer just the Latin alphabet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which approved the change at a meeting in Seoul, said in a statement it could lead to a dramatic rise in the number of Internet users. "This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet," said ICANN's President and CEO Rod Beckstrom. "We have just made the Internet much more accessible to millions of people in regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Russia." To be rolled out in stages, it will allow internationalized domain names using scripts such as Chinese, Korean or Arabic for the country code designators at the end of an address name.

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