Friday, September 23, 2011

"Free Hats for URLs", says CIRA

The CIRA is taking an important first step into internationalizing the Internet for Canadians soon. Although currently accents are all considered the same domain, for example versus fą, this new policy will differentiate between these names, and allow them to be separately registered.

Some people are concerned this will lead to phishing, even though the CIRA has identified this problem and is already taking steps to prevent it. As some 'net savvy individuals have already pointed out, the URLs render in typable format, for example www.pàypà turns into, and insist people should be paying attention to the domains they type anyway.

The last objection raised is that people won't be able to type these alterations and so the sites will end up dead in the water. But those who have, presumably, the greatest interest, will be the most likely to have a french accented keyboard, and so will not notice the problem.

The process they plan for the launch includes a "Sunrise" period to allow existing registrants to register alterations of their domain name, and will run for 12 weeks until opening up to the "Landrush" period, in which domains are issued on a random basis. After this process ends they will be issued on a 'first come-first serve' basis.

It's an important step in acknowledging the fact that Canada actually does have two official languages, and helps the Internet become less Americanized. To be honest, though? I'm just excited about having a domain with Umlauts in it.

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