If the World Wide Web is a worldwide and global information system, so far it was all but universal. People could only write in Latin alphabet whatever language they used and whatever writing system they were taught in.
Egypt just put an end to the Western writing system domination by publishing the first domain name in Arabic.
As the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) opened registration for non-Latin domain names, 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.
It took six years of discussions and technical work to get ICANN to the point of approval, even if most than half of the 1.6 billion Internet users don’t write a Latin alphabet based language… The Chinese are the most numerous Internet surfers outside the Latin realm.
This opening towards non-Western writing systems is meant to allow many Eastern languages speakers to surf on the Net in their own idiom, but, in the same time, it will close access to Westerners. So the big Internet Ocean will look more like real world with its geographic and cultural diversities…