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The Internet Censorship

Russia Weighs Going Cyrillic For DNS 223

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports that the Kremlin may start an alternate top-level domain, .rf. According to the story, .ru in Cyrillic translates to .py, the top-level domain for Paraguay, which the Russian government claims leads to confusion. This is similar to a move by China, which has their own .net and .com top-level domains in their native character set along with .cn, .com, and .net in ASCII." Hindering Paraguayan hackers may matter less to the Russian government than establishing greater control over a walled-off Internet.
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Russia Weighs Going Cyrillic For DNS

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @02:23PM (#21897940) Homepage
    As it is I see spam which has Chinese characters embedded in what appears to be a google URL, but which I strongly suspect isn't.

    I fear the more we see unicode bytes in URLs the more it will open up people to vulnerabilities as they click on very innocent looking links.

    Hopefully the browsers can keep up with this.

  • by athloi ( 1075845 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @02:23PM (#21897960) Homepage Journal
    It's a smart move. Russia has already demonstrated that it wants to be a superpower again, which means that its main competition is China and the USA.

    It has to keep up with China's level of control, and not leave the internet in the hands of the USA, if it can.

    Again Putin demonstrates a smart interpretation of Machiavellian Realpolitik while no one else yet realizes the Cold War is back on.
  • Re:Further Proof (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacquesm ( 154384 ) < minus physicist> on Thursday January 03, 2008 @02:34PM (#21898136) Homepage
    Hm, troll ? Maybe, maybe not. When I was 14 or so one of my main motivations in learning english was to be able to work better with computers, all the books I could find where in english. In the early 80's when everybody was too busy solving problems instead of customizing their desktop and putting the right accents on letters that are unambiguous anyway.

    The PC, the web and the laser printer changed all that. Mainframe printers were mostly 'chain' printers with a very limited (EBCDIC) character set, not much chance to get your fancy local script there, so people worked around it and on the whole were ok with the solutions.

    Now we get top level domains with all kinds of accents in them and completely local scripts. This 'internationalization' of computing is a good thing for many people because they can now access the digital world in their own language, but at the same time it removes us one step from having a universal language, and the web could have easily given us that holy grail. Because not to be part of the cyber community or learning English ? It would have been an easy choice for most, one or two generations and English would have become a de-facto world standard.

    The situation we have right now will long term probably mean that the amount of content on the net will be proportionally spread out over the various languages, with English only being a (slightly) disproportionally high fraction.

    That universal language window of opportunity is probably lost for a long time, whether it ever was a serious possibility if of course open to debate, I for one had some hope that it was.

  • internet walls (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @02:44PM (#21898280) Homepage

    Hindering Paraguayan hackers may matter less to the Russian government than establishing greater control over a walled-off Internet.

    I don't really have a problem with government's filtering the internet of their own citizens -- let their citizens deal with that. When I don't like it is when a government want to control/monitor the the internet usage of other citizens.

  • by dusanv ( 256645 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @03:35PM (#21899208)
    Or maybe, just maybe, they only want Cyrillic characters in URLS. ASCII isn't suitable for majority of the world so brace yourself for more of this in future.

    The article is loaded with bs like this brownish pearl:
    Kleinwachter says the speculation is that people will need a password authorised by government agencies to use the global internet.

    How the fsck did he deduce that from introduction of Cyrillic DNS?

  • by DaleGlass ( 1068434 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @04:08PM (#21899716) Homepage
    If the domain name contains characters not from the system's character set, highlight them (with another color say), and warn the user.

    It's not a new problem either, "slashdot", and "sIashdot" will look the same in many fonts.
  • Re:How long? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by megaditto ( 982598 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @04:54PM (#21900368)
    Bah, I can think up some that are way cooler. Let's see here: (a real TLD by the way) (BIC's homepage in Iceland?)
    got.root (also real) (real TLD) (deserves an honorable mention I guess).
  • Re:Great!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @06:42PM (#21902122)
    You guys are failing to communicate because you have different premises. Batman defines character by the appearance, Arthur by its semantic (as does Unicode). Semantic definition is clearer than the visual one, especially since the appearance of the same character varies depending on the font used. The possible problem due to similar appearances remains, although I don't know how big of a problem it is/will become.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe