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IDN Scaremongering: Mashable and Times Online Screw Up

Michele Neylon

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) might be a slightly "hot" topic at the moment following on from ICANN's launch of the IDN country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) program recently.

However, IDNs are NOT a new topic.

Far from it.

They've been around for quite some time.

Unfortunately neither The Times Online or Mashable seem to have done any homework. Considering the amount of content available on IDNs that has been researched and actually proven — you know, factual information, it's pretty amazing that not one, but two respected online publications manage to get something so completely wrong.

Andrew from Domain Name Wire explains very succinctly why both Mashable and The Times are wrong.

As anyone who actually bothers doing a bit of research into IDNs could tell you, the IDN projects have been discussed at length and from every imaginable angle.

Do the authors of those two articles honestly think that the DNS community hadn't thought about potential phishing problems?

Do they think we're all idiots?

It's not as if we ever have to deal with phishing or any other DNS related attacks is it?

We're just misinformed observers, like them, aren't we?

And here I was thinking that The Times was a quality publication…

Oh well, back to the drawing board I guess.

By Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions. More blog posts from Michele Neylon can also be read here.

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Multilinguism, Security, Top-Level Domains

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I agree with your assessment. When it Joe Baptista  –  Jan 05, 2010 9:08 AM PST

I agree with your assessment. When it comes to doing their homework on IDNs both Mashable and the Times have failed. But then so have many others.

How many people know that China has operated their own IDN TLDs outside the ICANN root. How many have visited the Peking University at their official IDN web page located at http://北京大学.中国.

China has operated their own TLD system for the last 6 year .. or more in some cases. But few people know whats happening outside the ICANN root.

There are hundreds of IDN TLDs in the wild available in many countries that most people can't see because ICANN has refused to add them to the root.

Let's see if that changes this year.

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