Can Non-Western Language Internet Addresses Solve The Digital Divide? The Case Of Arabic Language

“Arab information technology experts have welcomed a recent development in internet governance that could allow the use of Arabic script website addresses, saying it will help to protect Arabic culture, remove the language barrier and reduce the digital and knowledge gap between the Arab world and the developed countries. However, they raised some intellectual property considerations as well as technical and cyberspace security concerns.” The article is by William New.The article talks to several people with experience of the internet in Arabic-speaking countries and notes the introductions of Arabic IDNs is one step in addressing the digital divide. “This decision will ease people’s digital language access in an increasingly on-line world as improving access to internet does little if its users can’t use it to communicate in native languages,” Amin Kalak of the Tunisia-based Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) told Intellectual Property Watch. The article notes “[a]bout billion people use Arabic script, but only about 35 percent of them speak Arabic as Arabic script has been used to represent languages such as Farsi, Urdu, and Sindhi.”To read this article in Intellectual Property Watch, see

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