Internationalized Domain Names


Internationalized Domain Names

In this age of Information Technology (IT) with the entire Globe being integrated into a web-linked village with the knowledge as the sole differentiator, development of convivial Access Technology has gained prime importance. Especially for India, with its diverse and multi-lingual heritage and culture, the Internet is expected to play dominant integrating role for integrating almost all aspects of social and economic endeavor.

To ensure that India and Indian languages have their rightful place in the fast-evolving scenario, CDAC GIST undertook research and study of various IDN related RFCs and their applicability vis-à-vis Indian Languages. The pilot study was under the aegis of the DIT.

The main aim was dual :

Primarily to ensure that a user can create and access URL’s in his own language and
Closely associated with the above, to ensure that the average user who is little aware of spoofing or phishing or pharming does not suffer financial loss or identity loss. Thus an average user doesn’t care about a seemingly trivial URL string unless he comes across it inadvertently and gets robbed. For him,
वीत्त.भारत and.वीत.भारत look the same. By clicking on the worng URL, (s)he could be phished or pharmed.

To prevent such spoofing and phishing attacks in IL scenario, a careful study of some scripts is done by CDAC GIST, especially in the area of homographs: characters and their combinations which look alike but are different in reality, as in the example given above.

Over the past three years CDAC Pune in close association with DIT and with contributions from CDAC Kolkata and Thiruvanathapuram has evolved a policy document for Internationalized Domain Names in Indian Languages. A certain number of Scripts and Languages have also been identified and the requirements for each have been detailed out in the course of meetings: Devanagari (Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, Sanskrit and Nepali), Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Assamese, and Bangla to name the major languages have been handled. With the maturity of the policy it is time to involve the implementers of the project: the Registrars, Sub-Registrars and Industry at large and make them aware of the major issues underlying the allocation of Internationalized Domain Names in Indian Languages and obtain useful feedback from them.

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