Last week, VeriSign Global Registry Services (GRS) began registering domain names with Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters. VeriSign GRS maintains the master database of Internet domain names and plans to expand registration soon to include Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic characters.
There is no guarantee, however, that the new domain names will be part of the Internet any time soon. VeriSign GRS has previously stated that multilingual names registered now will only become effective if they are integrated into Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards. Moreover, the nonprofit Internet Society that acts as the “organization home” for the IETF and the Internet Architecture Board has released a statement that casts doubt on the possibility of accepting non-English characters in the near future. The group characterized the experiment as “premature under the technical standards of the Internet.”