By Jim Boulden

June 26, CNN

The group controlling Internet domain names may soon decide whether to relax naming rules and potentially open up a virtual domain name gold rush.

On Thursday, the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will vote on two key proposals.

The first would allow domains that do not use Latin characters, meaning domain names using Chinese, Arabic or Cyrillic letters. The other proposal would allow domains to use nearly any letter or number combination, up to 64 characters.

If ICANN approves the proposals, the world of .com and .org and country names like .jp or .fr would be opened to a much wider choice, such as .hotel or .sex.

Just the thought of .sex has bloggers predicting an auction frenzy, as almost any word in any language could become a domain name extension.

"You can almost guarantee the most highly sought-after one will, unfortunately, probably be dot-sex," said Bryan Glick of Computing Magazine.

"All the meaningful words and meaningful names in the English language have been bought up already," Glick said.

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photo: Paul Twomey is president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Getty Images/AFP/File)