ICANN and the UASG to mobilize the global internet community
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) invite the global Internet community to participate in Universal Acceptance (UA) Day events on and around 28 March 2023. The intent of this day is to help achieve a more inclusive Internet that supports a broad range of languages and scripts. Nearly 50 UA Day events are expected to be held in more than 40 different countries.
A cornerstone of today’s global Internet, UA offers many benefits for both individual Internet users as well as the organizations that serve them. There are currently approximately five billion Internet users, and at least one billion more are expected to come online. Most of these potential new users live in countries that speak and write in languages other than English. Achieving UA ensures everybody can experience the full social and economic power of the Internet using their chosen domain name and email address that best aligns with their interests, business, culture, language, and script.
UA is the gateway to a more inclusive and multilingual Internet. The Domain Name System (DNS) has expanded dramatically in recent years with the addition of new generic top-level domains (e.g.,. photography, .technology). These also include Internationalized Domain Names (e.g., एमईआईटीवाई.सरकार.भारत, 红螺寺.网址, صحة.مصر, стопкоронавирус.рф) and country code top-level domains (e.g., .भारत). However, while the DNS has evolved, the checks used by many software applications to validate domain names and email addresses remain outdated. In addition, not all online portals are primed for the using or opening of a user account with an internationalized email address, leaving many people unable to navigate the Internet using their language and online identity of choice. Considered a technical compliance best practice, UA solves these issues by ensuring all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be used equally by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.
“Universal Acceptance is a foundational requirement for a truly global, multilingual Internet,” said ICANN Interim President and CEO Sally Costerton. “The first-ever UA Day will help bring this to fruition by creating awareness of UA and providing the tools needed to ensure that all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems work with all valid domain names and email addresses. This milestone event provides an unprecedented opportunity to rally local, regional, and global stakeholders to celebrate UA progress and help bring the next billion users online.”
“Universal Acceptance is crucial to enabling consumer choice and digital inclusivity for all users, including the language they speak or write in,” said UASG Chair Ajay Data. “UA Day was conceived as a global awareness event for Universal Acceptance, which will now occur annually on or about 28 March. It has been met with enthusiasm from multistake-holders worldwide who will participate in about 50 inaugural events. We expect UA Day to be a pivotal moment in time toward promoting Universal Acceptance.”