Domain Name Registration Related News
Registry action leads to wider implications
8th January, 2003
A storm is brewing between some Internet pundits and the operator of the .com and .net registries, Verisign Global Registry Services (VGRS) over VGRS' changes to the Domain Name System. While the changes relate to Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), they may have wider implications for the Internet as a whole.
An IDN is a domain name represented by a native language script, such as Arabic or Japanese, as opposed to the western or Latin one. Prior to the introduction of IDNs, native language script users had to translate or transliterate their names before registration as a domain name. VGRS has been operating a test-bed for IDNs for just over two years.
VGRS' changes relate to what happens when an Internet user tries to reach a website using an IDN ending in .com or .net. In the past, the registry would simply have returned an error. The controversy surrounds VGRS's unilateral announcement that with effect from 3 January 2003 the .com or .net registry will return a positive response - rather than an error message - which redirects the web browser to a page provided by VGRS. This page offers the user a free Verisign proprietary software plug-in for the Internet Explorer browser. The plug-in displays IDNs in the relevant language in the browser address bar and allows users to type these in their own language without translation or transliteration.
Details at: http://www.demys.net/news/2003/01/08_vgrs.htm