Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) in India

An Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) is an Internet domain name that contains non-ASCII characters. Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) is a mechanism defined in 2003 for handling internationalized domain names containing non-ASCII characters. The non-ASCII domain names should be converted to a suitable ASCII-based form by web browsers as per IDNA specification. [rfc3490]

An IDNA-enabled browser is able to convert between the restricted-ASCII and non-ASCII representations of a domain. Check out http://www.हिन्दी.com/ and http://北京大学.cn/ [Peking University, China] which used non-ASCII domain names. For example, is the ASCII representation of http://www.हिन्दी.com/. Mozilla 1.4, Netscape 7.1, Opera 7.11 and Safari are among the first applications to support IDNA. A browser plugin is available for Internet Explorer 6 to provide IDN support. Internet Explorer 7.0 and Windows Vista’s URL APIs provide native support for IDN.

The IDN implementation is very difficult in India, as we have a lot of languages and scripts. India has 22 official languages. The scripts for many languages also looks the same. For example, Tamil வ (U+0BB5) and Malayalam ഖ (U+0D16) looks the same. There are many similar issues with Hindi & Sanskrit too. Though it looks the same for the eyes, it is understood as two different characters by the domain name system. Using such variants, hackers can easily implement phishing., currently supports domain name registrations in more than 60 languages. See sample Tamil domain names. Though says that SynfoSys Business Soluttions Ltd is the Registrar Partners for India, I could not find out the URL for the same in their website. Is there one yet?

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