The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Tuesday expressed concerns regarding a service launched last Friday by VeriSign Inc. designed to handle internationalized domain names (IDNs).
According to ICANN, "some commentators" are worried that the VeriSign service is using technology that is contrary to Internet Domain Name System (DNS) standards to respond to DNS address requests containing non-ASCII characters, the Marina del Rey, California, group said in an advisory posted on its Web site.
"In response to these expressions of concern, ICANN has requested the advice of the Internet Architecture Board, which is responsible for providing oversight of the architecture for the protocols and procedures used by the Internet, on the changes announced by VeriSign Global Registry Services (VGRS)," ICANN said.
The DNS was designed to support 38 English-language ASCII characters, but international domain names draw from the non-ASCII 96,000-character Unicode repertoire. Domain names in languages other than English must therefore be encoded in ASCII for transmission across the DNS in order for them to work.