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Re: Are international characters allowed in email addresses?

From: <ned.freed@mrochek.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 14:18:41 -0700 (PDT)
To: Dave Crocker <dcrocker@brandenburg.com>
Cc: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>, John Harrison <jharrison@once.com>, "'discuss@apps.ietf.org'" <discuss@apps.ietf.org>
Message-id: <01K59J86LPJA0000AQ@mauve.mrochek.com>
> > > I'm researching an issue regarding whether international characters are
> > > allowed in email addresses.

> > no, they're not.  in all current mail standards email addresses must
> > be entirely in ASCII.

> well, we can be a bit friendlier to the topic, I think.  Only ASCII
> "characters" are permitted, however there is a standard that permits
> encoding international characters into an ASCII form.

Dave, this is being friendly at the expense of accuracy. While it is true
that there are various standards for encoding international characters
in ASCII, at present none of them are applicable to email addresses.

Phrases and comments in message headers are another matter. There are
standards for internationalizing those (RFC 2047 in particular).
But they don't apply to addresses themselves.

> So the pure negative is:  raw (binary) international characters are not
> permitted.
> The positive is:  Encoded international characters are permitted.

You certainly can perform such an encoding and produce a valid address, but
there's no encoding that is standardized for email addresses so don't
anyone else to reverse the encoding and display the result.

Received on Wednesday, 27 June 2001 17:25:21 UTC

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