One of the basic features facilitating communication on the Internet in a variety of languages is Unicode code-layout. It standardizes the representation of most of the world’s writing systems on digital media, thus enabling the process and transmission of information through such technologies. Unicode is a contemporary character code, and this paper traces its evolvement out of previous code-layouts, starting with Morse code in telegraphy. Focusing on the adaptations of character codes to Modern Hebrew, I show how representing languages in technology is intertwined with internal and transnational regional concerns, and argue that from its beginning character code has been a locus of struggle over power and sovereignty: first between colonial regimes and resistance movements, and then between global corporations and local agents.
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- Character code
- Morse code
- code machines