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The Internet Networking IT

Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says 113

angry tapir writes The Internet domain name for a country doesn't belong to that country — nor to anyone, according to ICANN. Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism want to seize the three countries' ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) as part of financial judgments against them. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the Internet, says they can't do that because ccTLDs aren't even property.
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Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says

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  • Identifiers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @08:10AM (#47573349) Homepage Journal

    Until this nonsense about keyword TLDs, TLDs were just identifiers, not property as ICANN noted. But this custom TLD nonsense is going to throw a wrench into that.

    I could see seizing the domain registrars, but as they say, how do you seize an identifier? That's like saying I "own" the variable "x", and that all graphics programmers now need to pay me to lease use of that variable name.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @08:36AM (#47573457) Homepage
    whenever we need to seize a domain in the realm of the DMCA, ICE (immigration, customs enforcement) can and does SEIZE the domain, so it must in fact belong to someone. Domain registrars were forced across the country to de-list wikileaks often due to local circuit court judges on behalf of private entities, but mostly due to quiet pressure from the United States government against its payment card processors. .uk and .fm sites are managed by agents of their respective governments, as are .ru and .au, so it would be strange to insist a country manage, yet never own their TLD.

    Offtopic i know, but another thing that strikes me as absurd is the lawsuit. "Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism" include who exactly? and of these plaintiffs how many are willing to admit they openly ignore their own governments sponsorship of terrorism? The suit seems rather silly.
  • Re:Identifiers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @09:01AM (#47573561)
    Or perhaps, it is like saying the term "Iran" can be seized after a lawsuit.
  • Re:Identifiers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @09:13AM (#47573629) Journal
    What's hard to understand about this, seriously?

    The part where someone apparently doesn't understand the difference between a name and the thing itself, and that the thing itself doesn't always "own" its name.

    Seizing Iran's TLD as part of a judgement against Iran makes exactly as much sense as seizing the assets of the Iranian American Society of Engineers and Architects [], solely on the basis that it contains the word "Iran" in its name.

    As TFA specifically points out, seizing ".ir" doesn't just affect the government of Iran. It affects thousands (millions?) of privately-owned subdomains. Imagine enforcing the same ruling against the US - Not just talking about ".us", but pretty much the entire set of legacy TLDs. Does it make sense that "" suddenly belongs to some litigious asshat because of the inadequacy of US foreign policy? And as TFA also points out, ICANN doesn't even have the ability to do this unilaterally (they only directly control root server L), and trying to do so could well trigger as schism.
  • by joe545 ( 871599 ) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @09:39AM (#47573817)

    When was the last time you heard anything controversial about the UN-run ITU?

  • Whew. FFS... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Thursday July 31, 2014 @09:39AM (#47573825) Homepage

    Sure, let's tear apart the integrity of our global network for the sake of sticking it to a government. Did anyone think through what would happen if you disrupted the network on such a scale? The national ISPs would host their own root, and anyone abroad who wanted to keep accessing those domains would likewise switch to alt roots.

    End result, the domain name system gets fractured, ICANN and the US govt retain less control of the internet, and also they look like assholes.

    Good thing this was dismissed as the dumb idea it was.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham