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Russia to go all Cyrillic for DNS?

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 6 years ago

Censorship 1

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports that the Kremlin may start an alternate top-level domain: .rf. According to the story, .ru in Cyrillic translates to .py, the top-level domain for Paraguay, which the Russian government feels leads to confusion. This is similar to a move by China, which has their own .net and .com top-level domains in their native character set along with .cn, .com, and .net in ASCII. Will .ru go the way of .su? Will this new top-level domain make it more difficult for phishers and spammers and scammers? Will this give the Russian government more control over the registration process and ultimately lead to censorship?"
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1 comment

Two-edged sword (1)

tbg58 (942837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895896)

Moving toward Unicode in URLs has pluses and minuses, both technical and cultural. Technically, use of the Latin character set ASCII has provided simplification, and enabled people who may not know how to type, in this case, Cyrillic characters to get to URLs in Russia. The issue becomes even more complicated with character sets that contain more characters, such as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese (not to mention other alphabets with smaller footprints like Georgian, for instance). I can foresee scenarios in which someone may not know how to get their computer to produce, say, Cyrillic or Kanji, Thai, Burmese or Georgian just to name a few) may be able to read web sites in that language. A switch to Unicode would be good for native speakers in-country, but without DNS legacy aliases or an updated directory could result in islands on the Internet without having to bother with routing protocols.

Culturally, this has implications as well, since any country with its own top level domains and control over them would be dependent on the good will of whoever controlled the domains. I'm sure some governments would find such an arrangement quite handy, but any freedom-loving internet citizens of those lands might not be so sanguine...

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