The introduction of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) could make the Internet more accessible to a global audience, it has been suggested.

Relaxing restrictions on domain name suffixes could help make the web more accessible to individuals who use non-Latin characters, said Mei-Lan Stark, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Trademark Association.

Stark said the plans, put forward by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), could help encourage greater online participation, but also carried security risks.

Stark pointed to the difficulties and costs already associated with defending marks on the Internet due to multiple gTLDs.

He suggested that websites could be set up in different countries using similar gTLDs, which could have the effect of confusing Internet users.

The first non-Latin domain names, sanctioned by ICANN, went live in May 2001.

Arabic speakers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates became the first to take advantage of non-Latin scripts online, with Russian and Chinese languages sanctioned later in the year.

Non-Latin character users ‘to benefit from ICANN’s gTLD regime’

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