Egypt Grabs First Arabic Domain Name

On the first day that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers opened registration for non-Latin script domains, Egypt says it has seized the opportunity to register the first all-Arabic domain name.

Information Technology Minister Tarek Kamel said at a U.N. sponsored Internet conference that his government had filed an application to register the domain “.masr”–or “.Egypt”–written entirely in Arabic, according to the Associated Press. ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom said so far six countries submitted applications for domains in three languages, AP reports.

Not everyone thinks the groundbreaking move deserves fanfare–Reporters Without Borders said it finds it “surprising and disturbing” that Egypt is playing host to the Internet Governance Forum. “It is astonishing that a government that is openly hostile to Internet users is assigned the organisation of an international meeting on the Internet’s future,” the advocacy group said in a statement.

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