Tag Archives: Russia

Cyrillic Domains Gives Russian Internet Users Greater Confidence Online

Internationalised Domain Names that enable internet users whose language is a non-Latin-based script, which in effect are all non-English languages, are becoming more common. ICANN, who has been gradually approving more IDNs through ICANN’s IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process has now approved IDNs in Arabic, Cyrillic and Chinese.

Their introduction has been warmly welcomed by ICANN’s CEO and President Rod Beckstrom who spoke enthusiastically about this at the ICANN meeting in Brussels last week, while also noting that the support for IDNs at events he has attended in Egypt and Russia had been fantastic.

To date ICANN has received 31 Fast Track requests for IDNs representing 19 languages. One of the first to be approved was the Cyrillic domain .РФ for the Russian Federation.

.РФ was well supported at a government level with both President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin both enthusiastic supporters. So it was no surprise that the IDN would be warmly welcomed by Russian people and businesses.

Currently the sunrise period for .РФ is underway with over 14,000 domain names registered by Russian businesses. It is expected that there will be over 50,000 domain names registered by the end of the sunrise period in mid-September.

Currently around ten per cent of Russian trademark holders have registered their domain to date. This uptake has been pleasantly surprising with Alexey Lesnikov, Director General of RU-CENTER, the leading .РФ registrar, telling DomainPulse during the Brussels ICANN meeting this has been in part due to the community consultation that included building awareness with registrars, internet users, government and other interested parties.

To boost this awareness RU-CENTER is also running seminars to inform trademark holders of IDNs through a public relations campaign that includes a series of seminars in Moscow and the regions.

“Cyrillic domain names will be widely used within Russia within five years, especially within emails, and during this time Russian internet users will become used to Cyrillic domains,” Lesnikov said during the Brussels ICANN meeting.

Prior to applying for the Cyrillic domain, RU-CENTER conducted opinion polling and of more than 10,000 internet users who participated, about 60 per cent said “yes” to the idea of a Cyrillic domain.

One of the goals of the introduction of IDNs, according to Lesnikov, is to broaden the appeal of domain names and encourage internet use. Indeed, one of the most pleasing things, and a guide to how successful the Cyrillic domain would be, was that his grandmother was impressed with the idea. Breaking down language barriers for Russian users is important as internet users not familiar with Latin characters found it difficult to understand domain names.

Among internet users familiar with Cyrillic languages, it is anticipated that the greater familiarity with the language will lead to lower levels of cybercrime such as phishing as the users will be more aware of the web addresses they are going to.

.РФ domain names will be available to the general public from Russia and anyone else throughout the world who wishes to register one from late 2010 for around US$20. However the sunrise and then landrush sunrise periods see those wanting to ensure they snare their preferred domain name paying a premium.

The first part of Sunrise – 25 November – 11 May – Russian-language trademark owners can register .РФ. Second part of Sunrise – 12 May – 14 July – Any trademark owners can register .РФ. The third period of Sunrise – 15 July – 15 September – Owners of names of goods’ and services’ origin, Mass-media, non-profit organisations and companies, which names are not officially registered as trademarks. Cost per registration during all parts of Sunrise is $40. Price during Landrush (starts from 16 September) is now being discussed.

Alexey said that at first there were a discussion that prices for Landrush should start from $300,000 but now the costs proposed are much lower. More information about Sunrise is available here: za-rf.ru/node/103. For those trademark holders taking part in the first part of the sunrise, it was costing 1,200 roubles (approximately $40), From of July for those eligible to apply for domains during the second part of the sunrise period, including organisations involved in mass media and not-for-profit organisations as well as company names not officially registered as trademarks in the Russian territory. The sunrise period officially ends on 16 September.

On other current topical domain name issues, IPv4 and IPv6 along with DNSSEC, Lesnikov said these are not overly important but both will be introduced in the medium term over coming years.

For more information on .РФ, check out the RU-CENTER website at za-rf.ru/en.

Almost 500 Cyrillic .РФ Domain Names Registered

As of Tuesday 25 May there were 476 .РФ domain names registered, Yulia Ovchinnikova of Russia’s Coordination Center for the National Internet Domain said in a report on RIA Novosti. .РФ is the Cyrillic Top Level Domain for Russia.Websites for the Russian president and government were the first to go public following the launch of the new TLD on 13 May.As of 25 May, domain names registered during the .РФ sunrise period were able to go into use.A second sunrise registration period commenced on 12 May with owners of trademarks that do not use Cyrillic scripts were able to be registered.From 15 July, .РФ domain registrations under the sunrise procedure will be available for the exclusive owners of trade names, owners of geographical indications of goods origin, mass media and non-profit organisations.Public registration of .РФ domains is scheduled for 1 October, 2010.

Cyrillic Internationalised Domain Names Launched

Following on from last week’s report on the introduction of internationalised domain names (IDNs) in Arabic languages, Russia has introduced the first Cyrillic country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) IDN.The announcement of the launch of the Cyrillic IDN occurred at an Internet Governance Forum meeting last week in Moscow when Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and President, handed over the administration certificate.The new IDN ccTLD is “РФ” and means that Russians and other users of Cyrillic languages will now have complete domain names available to them in their own language. The introduction of . РФ was lobbied for by both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, both self-confessed keen internet users.”I have just checked, the website президент.рф is up and running. The Cyrillic website of the government downloads too. The websites of other state departments will have Cyrillic domains ready this month. Commercial companies will be able to use Cyrillic domain names a bit later. Russia has become the first country in the world which obtained the national domain of the top level,” Medvedev told the Russian newspaper Pravda.The first two .РФ domains launched were for the websites of the Russian president and government. Domain names using the .РФ ccTLD will be available for registration by eligible registrants as of October 1.The introduction of IDNs was also the subject of three short essays from prominent writers in India and China and an assistant professor of Arabic literature at New York University. What the introduction of IDNs means to Hindu, Chinese and Arabic internet users is discussed. While all three welcome their introduction, two of the three say the claimed benefit of IDNs is overstated while the Chinese writer suggests that for Chinese internet users, domain names in Chinese will give more meaning and depth. The three short essays are available from www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/opinion/16domain.html.This article was originally written for eBrand Services.

Cyrillic IDN .РФ Likely To Be Assigned This Week

Hot on the heels of the launch of Arabic internationalised domain names (IDNs) last week, The Moscow Times is reporting Cyrillic IDNs may become available this week.Representatives from ICANN may officially assign the .рф TLD to Russia at the Internet Governance Forum meeting in Moscow that begins this Thursday The Moscow Times reports.”We’re really expecting it within days. As soon as the domain is delegated it will start working, because everything is ready on our side,” Andrei Vorobyov, a spokesman for Ru-Center, told The Moscow Times.To read this report in The Moscow Times in full, see:

Crackdown on .RU Registrations to Counter Scammers and Fraudsters

RU Center logoIn a change in policies to crack down on scammers and fraudsters, the .RU the Coordination Center, the registry for .RU domain names, has modified its registration policies as of 1 April 2010.

As of April 1, all .RU registrants will be required to verify their identity through the following means:

  • Companies and organisations will be required to provide a certificate that shows government registrations
  • Individuals and entrepreneurs will be required to provide a copy of their passport.

The changes are intended to ensure .RU registration practises meet best practise. However it is meant to make life more difficult for the scammers and fraudsters who have been giving the .RU ccTLD a bad name. And it is hoped the changes will boost confidence in internet users so they will feel safer when visiting a .RU website.

Due to lax registration procedures where it has been relatively easy to conceal one’s identity, .RU is viewed by many as a haven for cybercrime.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .RU domain name check out Europe Registry here.

.РФ Internationalised Domain Name will translate DNS in Russian

16 November 2009 – the day Russian Federation officially applied for Cyrillic domain .РФ (.RF) to ICANN. This event was preceded by two years of collaboration between ICANN, Russian government, local internet-society and key market players.The great beginning…Russian language has quite long history in DNS. First domain names in Cyrillic appeared in 2001 – as a test prior to introduction of second- and third-level IDNs (Internationalized domain names) they were registered by VeriSign in .COM and .NET. For example, there was a domain Кремль.com, analog to Latin Kremlin.com.In 2003, after IDNs were approved by ICANN and became available in various ccTLDs and gTLDs, the idea of Cyrillic domain names in .RU (Russian national TLD) emerged. To 2006 it was close to realization, but small incompleteness in the rules of registration of non-Latin domain names in .RU caused splash of cybersquatting. The fact was that the owners of .RU domains in Latin could pretend on graphically similar names in Cyrillic. This mistake compelled Russian registrars and then Coordination Center for TLD RU (registry for .RU) to declare against non-Latin names in Russian national domain. The final decline of the idea in the middle of 2007 was also caused by new initiative of ICANN – introduction of IDN top-level domains.In April 2008 just elected President Dmitry Medvedev got to know about this possibility in near future and declared creation of national Cyrillic TLD as a key priority for Internet development in Russia. Of course, such words speeded up Russian government’s activities in getting the IDN TLD. In June 2008 Russia sent to ICANN official letter of interest, which stated intentions of the country to get national non-Latin domain as soon as possible.Prior to this letter several polls were hold by local registrars and Coordination center for TLD RU intended to feel Russian internet-users’ out on the idea of introduction of Cyrillic domain zone. In particular, in such survey organized by RU-CENTER participated more than 10 000 users and about 60% of them said “yes” to Russian non-Latin top-level domain.But that time in Russia there were also enough people who didn’t understand the reason for creation of national IDN TLD. Due to the lack of information about this initiative they thought this domain might separate the country from global Web. Also they were afraid of cybersquatting and technical problems that in their opinion might occur after the appearance of Cyrillic symbols to DNS. Of course, most of their arguments against top-level IDNs were incorrect. For example, the idea that introduction of non-Latin TLD is a good chance for Russian government to build local Internet easy to control has nothing common with reality – web-sites in Cyrillic domain will be available from all over the world. Of course it will be hard to access them without Cyrillic keyboard, but in this case virtual keyboard might be easily downloaded and installed. It’s also important to mention, that all modern browsers support non-Latin domain names, so there is no threat they will be unavailable.Except the discussion about expediency of creation Cyrillic TLD, another one dispute emerged about possible designation of the domain. The main proposal was to use a combination of symbols “РФ” (RF) for this purpose, but some users had different opinion. They thought it would be better to call Russian top-level IDN “РУ” – this name is full Cyrillic analog to ccTLD RU. But such label could not be used, because written in small letters it was graphically similar to .py, Latin country-code domain of Paraguay. So, in case Russian .РУ had been approved, a huge risk of cybersquatting would have appeared. Also this designation had no chances to be chosen because it didn’t suite the rules, ICANN developed for IDN ccTLDs. First of all “РУ” didn’t contain unique Cyrillic symbols, and secondly it had no sense to local internet-society.In the long run “РФ” became the official name for Russian national top-level non-Latin domain. It happened in October 2008, when Russia filed prior application to ICANN on the issue. In that document Coordination center for TLD RU was proposed as a registry for Cyrillic TLD.During 2009 this organisation prepared technical and legal base for delegation domain .РФ (.RF) to Russia. On the 16 of November 2009 all documents necessary for introduction Russian IDN TLD were transferred to ICANN to be considered according to Fast Track process. The registration process in .РФ will start even before Russian application will be approved – on 25 November, 2009. According to plans of Coordination Center for TLD RU Russian non-Latin top-level domain will be delegated by IANA in the beginning of 2010.What’s next?To prevent cybersquatting from 25 November, 2009 to 25 March, 2010 names in .РФ will be available for registration only to Russian trademark owners. At this time domains in Cyrillic top-level IDN will be also reserved for governmental bodies.From 8 April, 2010 registration will be opened to everyone. It starts with “Holland auction”: the price for the domain names will be high in the beginning, reducing step by step to the usual price. This step is taken to provide fair distribution of most valuable domain names.The cost of registration in .РФ will come down to standard to July 2010 and will be the same as in ccTLD .RU or even lower. For the first year in Cyrillic TLD about 500 000 domains may be registered.The introduction of IDN .РФ will make Internet more convenient for Russian-speaking people, who will be able to type habital Russian words in address bar directly in Cyrillic without necessity to remember correct Latin transcripts of them. This opportunity will be especially useful for people who do not know English well: addresses in Russian make Web for them quite easy to access. It’s important for Russian authorities, who plan to provide all governmental services via Internet in the future.In such circumstances it’s no surprise that Russia has very strong motivation to get TLD .РФ. And today the country is as close to success in its aspiration, as it has never been before.The article was prepared by RU-CENTER, Russian domain name services provider, the biggest registrar in ccTLDs RU, SU and the accredited registrar in IDN TLD .РФ.

Egypt Submits Symbolic First Application for Internationalised Domain Name

Egypt, host of the United Nations sponsored Internet Governance Forum being held this week, Russia and China were among the first countries to submit applications to ICANN for internationalised domain names (IDNs) in non-Latin characters.In total six countries applied for IDNs in three languages. Saudi Arabia was another country known to have applied, also applying for an IDN in Arabic, along with Ukraine.ICANN, the organisation charged with overseeing the Internet’s naming and numbering systems, has invited applications for IDNs, receiving the first applications on Monday this week, as part of its IDN country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Fast Track Process.IDNs are domain names that include characters other than the currently available set of the English alphabet (the 26 letters “a-z”, numbers 0 to 9, and hyphens). ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush noted, “The IDN program will encompass close to one hundred thousand characters, opening up the Internet to billions of potential users around the globe.”Egypt’s application is for .MISR, which is the equivalent in ASCII characters as the Arabic language term for “Egypt”. Egypt’s Communications Minister Tarek Kamel said the process of implementing IDNs would require “strong investment in the coming phase.””There will also be issues to deal with: linguistic, technical, legal, related to intellectual property and many other big challenges,” Kamel told reporters at the IGF.China’s application is for .中国 domain name suffix while Russia has applied for .РФ and Ukraine applied for .УКР.It is anticipated the first ccTLD IDNs will come online in 2010.

Russian President Supports Introduction of .рф Cyrillic TLD

The introduction of internationalised domain names is being supported by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev who, in a briefing from the Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Communications Igor Shchegolev, reproduced on the ISRIA website and translated into English, says that Russia will be submitting an application for the .рф TLD on 16 November when ICANN calls for applications. Medvedev says registration of internationalised domain names will commence at the end of November.In the briefing, Medvedev agrees with the proposition that government agencies and trademark holders will have first choice of .рф domain names “so that we do not end up later having to buy kremlin.рф or something of the sort from people with no connection to the Kremlin.”Medvedev also appears to be learning about the benefits of Cyrillic domain names with the interviewer suggesting .рф Cyrillic domain names be used to “to set up a government e-mail system in the .рф zone for communication between the state bodies and citizens. This will make it possible to speed up provision of a whole range of electronic services in areas where an electronic signature is not an absolutely imperative thing.”Medvedev asks if “the introduction of Cyrillic domain names and the spread of the .рф domain will help speed up the electronic government’s development?” When told this is the case he says “Well, that’s a good thing.”To read the briefing in full, check out the ISRIA website at:

Cyrillic Internet domain name

Dmitry Medvedev the President of Russia has stated “We must do everything we can to make sure that we achieve in the future a Cyrillic Internet domain name,” Mr Medvedev told the International Congress of Russian Press in Moscow. “It is a pretty serious thing.  With the development of the IDN’s the Cyrillic Internet domain name will be explored by ICANN.

ICANN, the body which oversees internet addresses, is currently trialling a system which would allow domain names to be written in 15 languages – including Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese – but has given no guidance on when it will be implemented.

Russian is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world after Mandarin, English, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic and Spanish. According to the Dictionary of Languages, there are an estimated 175 million people who speak it, mainly in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, and other former Soviet states.

To read the article further : http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4119960.ece