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CEO Commends Russia for Bringing Cyrillic to Internet’s Top-level Domain Names

13 мая 2010

Russia is becoming an increasingly important player in the global Internet community according to Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  Beckstrom made the point earlier today while addressing the opening session of the Russian Internet Governance Forum in Moscow.

“Russia has achieved a major milestone by becoming the first country to be approved for a Cyrillic internationalized domain name,” said Beckstrom. “This means that many of the 96 million Russians not currently online could be among the next billion Internet users.”

The Russian Federation is among the first group of countries to have non-Latin characters used in the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) portion of their Internet addresses – that final segment to the right of the dot.  So now instead of having to type dot-rf  when writing a Cyrillic address name in their web browsers, Russians will be able to use the Cyrillic character “рф”.

“Internationalized domain names will open the door to those whose primary language is expressed in a non-Latin script, such as Russian speakers who use Cyrillic,” said Beckstrom.

But the Chief Executive said Russia’s successful efforts to bring its primary language to all parts of Internet domain names is only one example of the country’s emergence as a prominent force in the new online world.

Beckstrom commended the Russian government and the Russian Internet community for their “ambitious plans to bring Internet service to the entire country.”   He pointed out that while 45 million Russians – 32 percent of the population – had access to the Internet, almost twice that number were not online.

The ICANN leader also praised the Russian government’s participation with global efforts to stem cybersecurity threats.  “It is a global challenge of immense proportion that requires a solution at the global level,” said Beckstrom. “Russia and many other countries have come to understand that.  With the Russian National Security Council, the U.S. State Department, the European Union, China, India and others, talks on further cooperation in the cyber security field are ongoing.”

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