Why should a country's national ccTLD rules be in English? It's a domain space for that country, not for making convenient short URLs for Americans to use on Twitter.
Why would a country run under Sharia law want to allow services like bit.ly and others to use their ccTLD to link to porn and other things they find offensive? Why is there an automatic assumption that ccTLD rules should conform to Western expectations?
The only explanation I can think of is that in the back of people's heads is the idea 'it's our internet and we're just letting you weird foreigners use it'. Apart from not being true any more, I wonder how deeply that sort of thinking affects other interactions online?
Or maybe I'm overthinking it all and this guy's just pissed off and ranting because he lost his domain.
Just so that you know, Sharia "law" is just six principles:
1. The right to the protection of life.
2. The right to the protection of family.
3. The right to the protection of education.
4. The right to the protection of religion.
5. The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
6. The right to the protection of human dignity.
That's it. At its base, eerily similar to the bill of rights. The term "shariah law" is a misnomer, because shariah is not law, but a set of principles.
Controversial laws like stoning people or requiring women to be totally covered aren't in the Sharia. Those are custom interpretations by certain sects. That's why say Islamic-based laws in Saudi Arabia are radically different from those in Egypt.
Just thought I'd share that. It really irked me this summer when everyone was throwing around arguments against "infecting the constitution with Sharia" even though no one actually knows what Sharia is.
The same is true of Sharia law. It has a lot of baggage. And it doesn't always read as a Westerner might naively like to read it. In particular when it comes to Sharia law, opposition tends to center on items 2 and 4 on your list.
On #2, Sharia law protects the family, but with different definitions and severity than Western society accepts. Consider the asymmetry between men and women for divorce. Consider the punishments for adultery. Both are widespread in Sharia law, and neither is palatable to Western audiences.
More problematic is item 4. It is not (as it is in the US constitution) the protection of freedom of religion. Instead it is the protection of the Islamic religion. (With limited protections for peoples of the book.) Thus we get anti-blasphemy rules, punishment for converting Muslims to another faith, etc. This is in direct conflict with core precepts of the US Constitution. This is not an accident of interpretation. It is a central feature of having a system of law whose purpose is to support a specific religion.
It's much less clear than this. Highly recommend watching this show:
I think it's important to distinguish between a religion or ideal - say, Christianity, or democracy - and what people do under that name. If church X doesn't follow the clear teachings of Jesus, that doesn't reflect poorly on Jesus, but on church X. If nation Y has rigged elections, that doesn't reflect poorly on democracy, but on nation Y.
It is important to be able to ask theoretical questions like "is capitalism inherently flawed?" and separate them from "how is it being practised in this situation?" If capitalism + government meddling = failure, it's unfair to say that capitalism failed. Rather, we should say that capitalism wasn't practiced.
I think the poster is just asking for the same kind of logical distinction.
Granted, many of them limit shariah law, such as in the case of Jordan, which limits it to "matters involving personal law such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody." But they still have it.
I wouldn't say countries like UAE, Kuwait, Turkey and many Mediterranean islamic countries are way behind. It also helps that Western countries are eroding mentioned freedoms and values themselves. See for example burqa ban in France. Now that's what I call a country without a freedom of religion.
True, France has had some steps backwards lately, such as the expulsion of Roma. However, I think it's still reasonable to hold the middle eastern countries to a higher standard than they currently maintain. So I'm not sure what you mean by "it also helps that Western countries are eroding freedoms"; it helps who? what?
Anyway, I absolutely agree that Arab peninsula states still have some horrific human rights issues to deal with, especially when it comes to foreign and especially "third-world" immigrants.
But that brings us too far from the original discussion concerning Sharia law because that has nothing to do with immigrant rights, which they essentially don't have being treated as second-class at best or slaves at worst.
Keep in mind that there are four big schools of thought (and that's just in Sunni Islam). Saudi Arabia and the gulf conform to one of those, and it's traditionally more conservative.
So it is only after you've voluntarily agreed to be bound that the court can proceed.
Wikipedia's explanation of Sharia is more complex than what you say: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia. Perhaps you could share why you think Wikipedia is wrong? The article states:
"Sharia (Arabic شريعة Šarīʿa; [ʃaˈriːʕa], "way" or "path") is the sacred law of Islam. Muslims believe Sharia is derived from two primary Sources of Islamic law; namely, the divine revelations set forth in the Qur'an, and the sayings and example set by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh ("jurisprudence") interprets and extends the application of Sharia to questions not directly addressed in the primary sources by including secondary sources. These secondary sources usually include the consensus of the religious scholars embodied in ijma, and analogy from the Qur'an and Sunnah through qiyas. Shia jurists replace qiyas analogy with 'aql, or "reason"."
The article further explains that Sharia covers areas of life such as diet, dress code, sexuality, personal morality, and the punishments prescribed for crimes - the aspects of law in Islamic countries that Westerners view as harsh and sometimes barbaric. For example, punishing theft with hand amputation is part of Sharia. In five Islamic countries under Sharia law the crime of Sodomy is punishable by death.
"Sharia" is no more a specific set of laws than Anglo-Saxon "Common Law". But it is a certain way of creating and judging law based on Islamic religious tradition that is incompatible with a modern secular state.
So if I were to use the term "Sharia" to refer to a strict and expansive system of law based on the Muslim religion, I would be correct.
1. Things from the Qur'an
2. Things from the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet)
Modern Sharia law is based on three things:
3. Fiqh (which is the interpretations)
That's the issue. The Fiqh part is very different from region to region and from sect to sect. Often, the really obscure laws that are brought up in arguments (take female genital mutilation for example) are often part of the Fiqh than the Sharia. That's also why, like I mentioned before, "Sharia" can be very different in Egypt compared to in Saudi Arabia.
Sharia is a topic of highly emotional argument right now, with lots of bigotry, ignorance, and fear-mongering. That's enough reason to suspect Wikipedia might be wrong.
Wikipedia is terrible on anything like that. On things nobody much cares about, like the history of the Marvel villain MODOK, it's great.
There are definitely lots of people who choose to view Sharia this way, and invariably this kind of interpretation seems to have prevailed in practical settings. So what makes your view of Sharia the One True Interpretation? Do you even have some references, from the relevant religious authorities, to the effect that these six principles you enumerate are all of Sharia and nothing else?
Sadly, quite a few of the people who are ignorant about what Sharia is are probably also ignorant about what is written in the US Constitution. We're equal opportunity ignorant here in the US. :(
In most western societies our legal system has evolved to the point where we recognize that the punishment should fit the crime. The problem, as I see it, is that most modern muslim societies haven't progressed to this point yet. They still practice barbaric customs such as cutting the hands off of thieves, or public stonings.
As a whole, humanity needs to denounce all barbaric punishments and legal systems, regardless of origin. The thing that is so ironic to me is that some of the same religious conservatives in the US that are speaking out against Sharia law, if you ask them, will tell you they want the US to go to a biblical law system. They are pretty much one and the same at that level.
Yes, there's a fair share of the problems, but I can honestly just think of a few (3 or less) that truly practice the old barbaric stuff. Most, even though have other problems, have at least progressed away from that.
That's not true. You really shouldn't just make things up to support an argument.
No, he's warning others that because Libya control this particular TLD, and police it using a set of laws that aren't available in English, it's to be considered unsafe for those who do not read Arabic.
I strongly doubt that this sort of action by NIC.ly is about money, it's about them - probably after having received political pressure - wanting to enforce their local moral/ethical standards on their ccTLD domains, particularly those held by people from outside Libya.
The moral/ethical stance is a complete pretext. If Libya was really worried about morality, they'd do something about their atrocious human rights record.
The assumption that your morality is the only one that matters pretty much reinforces the point I was trying to make with my original comment.
In any event, NIC.ly can take back any domains it wants to. You're playing under NIC.ly's rules, and if they change their rules that's their business.
Who do you think they fear a backlash from? If they change their rules to prohibit all non-Libyan registrants, they can reclaim any domains they like. I sincerely doubt that the Libyan government and NIC.ly really care what people moan about on Twitter and tech blogs.
What do you think they're planning to do with these 'valuable' domains? Nothing, because they actually have absolutely no value to anyone who hasn't already established their branding around it.
All these guys want to do is reclaim their country's TLD for their country and to exclude things that offend their local values.
And they're entirely entitled to do that.
I imagine they're more pissed of from the US repeatedly dropping bombs on them than .... what 4chan DDoSing NIC.ly ?
I found the complaint that the rules weren't in English really amusing.
Why should a country's national ccTLD rules be in English? It's a domain space for that country, not for making convenient short URLs for Americans to use on Twitter.
So I'm not American, so this isn't about imperialist America wanting everything to be in English.
The issue is the Libyans WANT international folks to buy their domains - they have all of the site in English, English-speaking pre- and post-sales support and even the domains themselves are sold in US$.
The issue I'm suggesting is that if you are going to put regulations up for the use of the domain that include needing to be in compliance with Libyan Law, it's quite unhelpful not to provide ANY resources or links to where I can read Libyan Law in English (ie the same language the website is selling the domain in).
As it happens I can't find any online resource for explaining to me the gist of Libyan Law in English.
Why would a country run under Sharia law want to allow services like bit.ly and others to use their ccTLD to link to porn and other things they find offensive?
Well with that chain of thinking then bit.ly, and everyone who uses it, should be very worried. Thus I hardly think this is a "rant" as you later describe my post!
It's our internet and we're just letting you weird foreigners use it'.
That's actually your somewhat judgmental opinion. Like I said, I'm not American so this "weird foreigners" remark is off-base.
Also, the kind of xenophobia, intentional or not (note that I heavily implied it was not the result of conscious thought), that leads to the 'weird foreigners' attitude is in no way unique to America. I'd imagine there's just as much of it in London as there is in Edinburgh as there is in San Francisco.
Oh, and yes, bit.ly should be worried. They should've taken this into account when planning their business and doing risk assessment.
Even if they could give you their entire body of law (including court decisions!), there'd be sure to be translation errors, or laws which you can't understand without cultural context. Then they'd have people complaining about getting misled. The answer is to consult a Libyan lawyer.
Agreed, it's their privilege to put the rules up in just their home country language. After all, if you're a foreign entity you will have to abid by the local customs, and part of that is the language.
What's more stinging about this case is that it seems to me that the 'rule change' to limit two letter domains to 'locals only' is arbitrary and was created with the specific idea in mind to recover this domain.
Another red flag for me is that there is apparently plenty of adult content on .ly domains: (NSFW)
So in all I think he has a point, but the real lesson here is to simply not bother with such domains and register them in a place where you have a fair expectation of respect for your rights and where you can actually read and understand the rules.
If some entity would try to take ww.com away from me you can be assured I'd put up a fight and given that it would be in a jurisdiction that has a legal system that seems to work (for the most part) I'd be fairly confident about the outcome.
If it had been a .ly domain I wouldn't have spent $.10 on it.
Yeah but as I said above, the process for buying the domain is VERY intentionally internationalized - everything is in English, you pay in US$ not local currency, etc.
I would agree with you if I had gone in there and essentially bought a domain that was only really intended for local use (some ccTLDs are like that).
But when they WANT international sales and are encouraging it, it doesn't seem right not to ensure that international customers can discover what Libyan Law says if the regulations for these same domains depend on it.
Unless of course you were a foreigner, especially an Libyan one then the outcome might not be so confidence inspiring.
I think it's ultimately a bit of a caveat emptor situation though: if they're not going to publish their rules in English, it means you're likely to get screwed.
Which is to be expected from a dictatorship run by a guy who dresses like the Beatles on the cover of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts club band.
I know that it's a lingua franca, and that there is a certain expectation that important information online will be in English - but even as someone who only speaks/reads English I think that's an unfair and unreasonable expectation.
Regardless of country, if you can't read and understand the rules/signage, you'd better have a 'native guide' or you're going to do something wrong and not understand how to put things right. That's as true for Libya/.ly as it is for Germany/.de or China/.cn.
I think that's the most important bit here, even if you understood the rules and had them translated and you abided (sp?) religiously (in this case that is to be taken literally it seems) by them, you could still lose your domain.
So building on a .ly is building on quicksand, and likely that goes for a whole bunch of other tlds.
I think that you're a lot less likely to run into 'oddities' in Germany than you are in China or Libya.
60+ years after the end of the war, it might not be immediately obvious, especially to an American used to 'first amendment rights', that your web page with screenshots from Wolfenstein 3D is possibly illegal.
And that's just an 'oddity' that I, someone who has never even been to Germany, know about.
Particularly in relation to their data protection rules (for example).
But you're also running a huge risk because if they find you in violation the fines start to get nasty. We had a client in the UK that was providing hit/redirect statistics, including full IP addresses, to German clients. Under the rules that is illegal - they were fined in the region of millions of euros for it.
every law is applied like that
I know the article jumped from one to the other but it is not so simple.
Is .ly really such a hot internet property that it's worth all that? It's trendy right now, but that won't last.
This is one of the reasons I've always stuck to .com, .net and .org, just registering a .nl domain for example requires me to jump through all kinds of hoops, and is more expensive to boot.
If you're registering a cutesy domain name because it worked for del.icio.us please note that they eventually switched to the whole word. If you're doing it because 'there are no good names available' then you need to get a bit more inspiration somewhere, I've found it very easy to come up with domain names up to last week, I can't imagine the situation has changed much since then.
I tried calling up the Jordanian firm that sells cutesy domain puns to Western companies, and after half an hour listening to hold music on an international line, I was told that nobody could talk to me because it was a holiday, and they would look into it tomorrow.
I heard about http://wordoid.com/ here on HN -- it's a wonderful little webapp that lets you generate domain names that "sound natural" in a select list of languages and that (optionally) contain specific words.
In the "more options" you can filter out domains where both .com and .net are unavailable (it would be better to just filter unavailable .coms but it still saves a lot of time).
Personal users are only just starting to get into having a personal URL to hosting their own id and blog etc. and with over 2 billion internet users and only around 140million registered domains, I think attitudes will change quickly. At least for the personal user.
Remember when http://delicious.com was http://del.icio.us When I first saw the product, I thought the name was "icio".
This is why people just go to Google and type in the domain they want. If you're off by a character or two you still get to the site without a 404.
Especially for personal domains, you're going to want to tell them to people. 'Just email me, my address is whatever at richard dot s d o m a dot in.'
It's a huge chore and confuses people. These things are fine when written down, but become unworkable when you decide to go outside and interact with people. (And I don't mean that in a snarky sense - that's exactly the experience I had. It was fine while I was being reclusive and hiding in my study, but when I realised I needed to interact with other living humans outside, it's a liability.)
I still love erica.biz and have no intentions of switching over to a .com, but there's no question that people assume you have a .com.
Search engines, however, don't care--my site happily gets tens of thousands of visitors per month from Google et.al. and the site ranks well for some very high-volume keywords.
My point is, it sure didn't stop my company from getting hundreds of happy customers, some of whom paid us more than $10,000 per month.
All other TLDs, including .net, .org, .yourOwnCountry, .someExoticCountry are bad because they have to be mentioned.
This is quite interesting, because in Germany we have the exact opposite. Here, .de domains are preferable to .com/.net/.org, because .de domains are cheaper, registered more quickly with less bureaucracy and provide better data privacy for the domain holder.
How it can be 'more quickly' then typing in a name in a form and clicking a mouse is a mystery to me, what do you mean by that?
Verisign once upon a time actually was a half decent company but then they got greedy and started screwing people over.
When was that? Network Solutions never gave good value. When NSF privatized domain registration in 1993, they paid NSI $6M to run it for two years; it couldn't've cost anywhere near that much. They were supposed to set up a more efficient ordering system (developing it was part of the $6M deal), but didn't. They couldn't be held to the terms of the deal, though, because the NSF had set it up as a cooperative agreement, rather than a contract, so that they could evade government procurement rules.
Here's how bad their early service was. In 1996, I was considering giving my dad ourlastname.com for Christmas. I emailed an ISP local to him, to ask if they could host the domain for him. I then decided it was a bad idea (giving somebody something that takes work); but, before I contacted them again, I got a bill from Network Solutions for the domain name. (It was misspelled, too, but that was probably the ISP's fault.) I told NSI it was a mistake, that I hadn't authorized it, but they told me I couldn't cancel the registration; only the ISP could do so. The argument that person A should not be able to incur charges for person B didn't cut any ice.
EDIT: and therefore I do feel Bit.ly need to be worried - perhaps they'll be able to do a deal rather than have their domain removed but clearly something is stirring here thus ".ly domain space to be considered unsafe".
"Violet Blue is an adult site".
Well 'Violet Blue' is my girlfriend, she's not a website :P
Do you mean "vb.ly"? It certainly was not an adult site - it was a url shortener. Have you not seen the grabs of the site floating around in media?
I guess that may have been a little predictable from TFA, but I'm regularly surprised by the folks who crop up at HN. I've been reading both your and VB's work for years, it is a funny coincidence to discover there is an relationship between you.
More seriously, she does seem to be rather, er, focused on the topic of sex... Which is great, but I can see why they would object, if sex-related things are banned in Lybia.
to your main point: Well that's kind the issue isn't it? Yes Violet is 'focused on the topic of sex' she's a leading author in the field (30+ books on Amazon), appears on Oprah show about the topic, lectures at universities, etc.
But if you are right, isn't that too far if a domain authority removes someone's domain because the line of work and academic research they are in? Like I said, the site itself was hardly adult, even if Violet's own life, work and research is against their laws (somehow, perhaps).
Under crazy interpretations of Sharia law, Violet probably would have been stoned by now.
A screenshot I saw of the main vb.ly page had a picture with enough flesh that it itself was probably illegal under Libya law.
However nic.ly are now also warning they don't allow ownership of short .ly domains by foreigners, only Libyan nationals. This sounds to me like they want more money or an excuse to take down domains they simply don't like, but is a real problem if they ever decided they want in on the bit.ly action.
The vb.ly site owners keep claiming that the content may be adult but that the domain name isn't. This is a weak argument in my mind, and I believe there's a precedent of domain names registered exclusively for the act of malware propagation being taken down.
You can't sell dildos and vibrators in Texas, and it's not because of Sharia law.
Hindu activists in India made death threats and stormed theaters because of a film about a lesbian relationship.
Sharia law is not the only reason for repressive attitudes toward sex.
I mean, really. They're, what, 30-40 years behind the cultural norms of the US, in this case? You don't really need to pin that on Sharia, when it's far more likely that it's just cultural.
It wasn't that long ago in the US that nothing was open on Sundays.
And the us is another 10 to 20 years behind some other parts of the world in this respect.
Because cultural reasons are completely separate from religion? Religion is the only reason people like to tell others what they can and can’t do in private, especially in a democracy like Texas, where it shouldn’t be considered Constitutional to outlaw "dildos and vibrators."
Which is just nonsense. Conservatives are conservative. Libya did this thing, and John Ashcroft covered up a statue's tit.
Bringing sharia into it is just buying into the latest thing pants-wetting wingnuts are using to scare themselves.
Nothing in there about the Intertubes, of course, and it's quite vague about exactly what constitutes pornography, but basically, you need a license from the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Local Government, and if you violate it they can throw you in jail for three to six years and fine you.
For a .ch, you're at the mercy of the Swiss court system. Sounds OK to me.
So when you buy a .ME domain, you are subject to the relevant law and regulation of Montenegro, for .CO in Colombia, for .LY in Libya and so forth. If those countries elect to allow registrations outside their borders, that is their choice, but there is no external regulation on how they do that. They are accountable internally to the local Internet community of the country, and the local laws.
ICANN, on the other hand, is responsible for regulating many aspects for generic top-level domains (currently TLDs with 3 or more characters, such as .COM, .NET, .INFO).
You don't put your business' fate in the hands of some third world countries legislation/semi governments whims.
I have... minimal sympathy with these people - a lot of the fault lies with themselves for not understanding the rules, morals and society of the country they were buying from.
I don't think that this generally makes .ly domains any more "unsafe".
(on the other hand; if this is an example of Libya deliberately creating rules to seize domains that is another matter, but at least in this case the complaint seems "legitimate" so we may have to wait and see)
I had thought about registering a .ly domain for a webapp, and the thing that stopped me was do I really want to have a domain associated with Libya? And that was before I asked myself how bad the dispute resolution process would be.
Why did it take 13 months for libya to care enough to take it down?
Here is the post on it's launch (possibly nsfw in libya?):
Non-alarmist explanation; they could have received a complaint (which, lets face it, is how such things usually works in the US too)
It does make it a little more interesting though, certainly :)
It's hard to state my question without ending up being dismissed as a troll, but I'm deeply amused by different viewpoints related to sex between western cultures. If I take a karma hit for that, so be it.
Anecdote: During the football (yeah, or soccer..) worldcup in Germany images were all over the internet that showed a brochure, which was rumored to be issued by the USA's department of foreign affairs for tourists joining the event. One interesting "fact" about the german culture mentioned in there was ,that violence (on tv, online, etc) might be far less accepted over here and might be felt offensive, while nudity/references to sex might offend the traveller.
I never found out if these things were real, but comments like these remind me of some interesting differences in cultures between states that otherwise often end up being regarded similar in morale and grouped as "western countries".
Your - or mine - morals don't enter in to it, it's just a fact of life. So it's common courtesy to label links that are not safe for work as such.
It's no trouble at all and if it helps keep the Hacker News crowd employed then I think that's a good thing to strive for.
What you just described is just - in my little world - a tiny, little version of the original problem discussed in the thread.
For a part of the world the service vb.ly was not safe for X (work, family, whatever).
For a part of the world (as explained by you) the blog entry and its sexual references/ads/etc are not safe for work.
I wanted to point out the parallels, which seem (mildly) funny to me.
I visited the link at work and I'm sure nobody would ever complain, let alone _think_ about bad consequences for me. Not that I imply that it should be that way or that this is in any way superior to different positions or morale standpoints. It is just - different.
NSFW is in that regard a kind of a lowest common denominator (sp?), tagged on links with good intentions for sure. But using the lowest common point means also that we put a label on something that might be excessive/overly protective to others. I guess I cannot explain my feeling about these similarities in judgement, inparticular around sex/nudity/pornography, any better, sorry.
Short version: I don't question the "NSFW". I want to remind the readers that the reasons why this is necessary in the first place are an interesting thought in light of this discussion.
In that the application of Sharia law makes a moral judgement on the content - censoring it for the promotion of, in their eyes, illegal content.
In a work environment many things are not appropriate; even in the most liberal of societies pornography is much more of a private thing, enjoyed by smaller groups of people rather than being shared with the world at large. There are also other issues; like, for example, that pornography is connected with sexual excitement and sexual acts - all of which are also socially inappropriate in most workplaces (and public). So rather than a moral judgement it is a practical limitation designed to avoid awkwardness, or offence or distraction.
That link, in particular, is a marginal case, where the pornography is incidental to the reason for being on the page. But within a corporate structure that doesn't matter.
For what it's worth, no one will blink an eyelid where I work either.
But it does mean that we can wind up with a case where nobody in a group would object to a picture personally, but nobody in that group can be allowed to show it to anyone else in the group.
All small- to medium-size websites are the result of dozens of third party companies -- server farms, network backbones, DNS providers -- working together. Even the really gigantic sites like Google and Yahoo, who really do own their whole networks and all their hardware, use third party services extensively.
In the case of a third-party URL shortener, the other party's presence is more visible but no more intrinsically unreliable. And in fact, in this instance, the redirector itself didn't go down -- what "broke" was the DNS provider, namely NIC.ly.
Using a URL shortener also means if that URL shortener ever goes down or out, you just lost all those links to your site.
In 10 years when bit.ly is completely dead, 2/3rds of the tweets or other comments on the web will be rendered useless.
The problem is also overstated because nearly all URL shorteners (bit.ly included) are sending HTTP 301 responses. This means that the short link is never indexed; only the original link is. So shorteners have no effect on pagerank/search results, which is where the longevity of pages is important (since anything not published in the very recent past is mostly discovered by search).
The project definitely needs more volunteers. Check out the website or join #archiveteam on EFNet if you are interested in helping save the future internet.
The HN community has become pretty watered down lately. Yuck.
Technical solutions to social problems sometimes work :)
I think many people consider .tv a creation for television and video on the Internet, but it was originally reserved for the island of Tuvalu.
For a time, GoDaddy had a popup when you went to register a .tv domain stating that the island of Tuvalu was sinking and may not exist in the future.
If you believe Wikipedia, however, a move in March of this year by Sedo made .tv a safe investment.
It's nice that they're doing that but it's essentially worthless. The url's in the database have no value, it's the ones spread all over other people's servers, and the work that went into doing it that have value.
The historical parallel to oil is not lost on Libya. Before 1850 or so, oil was just a nuisance mineral. When the West developed applications for it, Libya's territory, formerly a desert, was now worth trillions. Oil is now 95% of Libya's exports, and probably 95% of their international power too.
Libya's government evolved to defend and exploit natural resources, and they've historically done very un-democratic things to further that goal. So please, don't hand them the keys to your startup.
Violet Blue's Website: http://www.tinynibbles.com/
It's not just Libya, the US govt which has ultimate control over .com, .org, .net, .us, .gov, etc... also has some crazy ideas. Just look at how the senate last week wanted to start revoking domain names willy nilly.
The US senate, house, and president all want lots of things that never come to pass, because we have a government with lots of competing interests that (mostly) all have to agree on something before it bbecomes a law. This is in stark contrast to Lyybia or any other dictatorship where laws can be changed at the whim of whoever is in power.
That's not just at the top, either. Dictatorships are usually run like fiefdoms: people are given absolute power over everyone below them, so long as they don't piss off the people above them. So the guy who runs the registrar can do whatever he pleases so long as his boss is ok with it.
As somebody pointed out earlier in the thread, del.icio.us was really a terrible name. When you try to say it out loud (or even think it in your head) it comes out as "dell dot icky-o dot us"; the whole "oh, that's cute, it spells delicious" is pretty shortlived. delicious.com is way easier to say and looks better.
The same thing goes for your personal sites. bob.jon.es sounds pretty stupid when you try to tell somebody "Just go to bob dot jon dot es" or "bob dot j-o-n dot e-s".
Just say no to cutesy domain names. bobjones.net, not bob.jon.es; delicious.com, not del.icio.us.
You bought virtual commercial real-estate in Libya and now you're finding you are subject to local law and bureaucracy.
Google's bet on the Greenland TDL with goo.gl is less risky but I'd be interested to see what their lawyers had the local government and ccTLD admins agree to.
Given that Libya is a sovereign nation and .ly is their TLD, not a playground for you to create cute domains that seems 110% reasonable.
I was more responding to the entitled and shocked tone that someone(entity) would act in their self interests even when they, OMG!, conflicted with petty interests of "your" own.
I also have a serious twist in my nickers over abusing TLDs to get cutesy domain names.
I also have a very serious twist about people who go out of their way to violate custom / abuse a system and then whine about when it doesn't work just they way they want.
So, when your government (assuming the entrepreneur in question is American) classifies Libya as a dangerous state, it might be prudent to avoid building your identity over the domain names provided by Libya... don't you think.
I remember this only because Oracle made me click a check box agreeing not to export any of their software to these "axis of evil" countries.
The risk with .ly domains has been discussed before. This is just evidence that the risk exists and this evidence should be used to recalculate that risk.
As mentioned in a similar reply in this thread a Plan B should be considered. Any sufficiently large website or business should have some disaster recovery plans, regardless and this is just another page that needs to be created for that plan
What a Plan B for a domain name is? I'm not quite sure but, del.icio.us delicious.com is an example.
"While letters ‘vb’ are quite generic and bear no offensive meaning in themselves, they’re being used as a domain name for an openly admitted ‘adult friendly URL shortener’. Now, had your domain merely been a URL shortener for general uses similar to bit.ly (as you claim) there would have been no problem with it. It is when you promote your site being solely for adult uses, or even state that you are ‘adult friendly’ to promote it that we as a Libyan Registry have an issue."
There is definitely some risk, so mitigate it and buy the ly.com variant of a .ly domain to protect against this - much like ad.ly owns adly.com, embed.ly owns embedly.com.
Watch what bit.ly does - likely nothing right now. If they get warning like vb.ly says they did, we will hear about it, and then every .ly owner has a problem.
What about bit.ly?
416 West 13th Street
Zip/Postal code: 10014
Domain Name: BIT.LY
Created: 2008-05-18 14:50:12
Updated: 2010-03-09 18:25:33
Expired: 2011-05-18 14:50:12
Domain servers in listed order:
Domain Status: ACTIVE
Funny how many on here complain about Libya and their sharia requirement instead.
REPLACE 'bit.ly' with 'tw.it' WHERE tweet CONTAINS 'bit.ly'
This made me chuckle.
"Again, while we contest that there was NO pornography or adult material on vb.ly," ...
(It is used in that manner several times)
That statement is essentially saying that they disagree that there was no pornography, or in essence that they agree that there was.
To contest something means to disagree with it.
Those who say "oh, we don't own the Internet, how arrogant of us to even think we do..." I want to tell you one thing - yes, you can shove those Sharia countries domains to http://ana.ly. We do OWN the internet, because it is us who create the Internet. This Lybian Alshariff, or whatever his name is, thinks that because his government thinks that those domains are valuable THATS a reason good enough to confiscate and block them from our use. Ok, fine, do it, moron. The only problem is – once you do something as stupid as this you scare all the people AWAY from your domains, making them literally worthless. When they will realize it it will be too late – once scared people of business do not come back.
> We do OWN the internet, because it is us who create the Internet.
That's a pretty serious mis-statement of fact right there. You don't OWN the internet because it was 'you' (whoever that is) that created it.
The internet is a connection of networks, each of those networks could operate by itself, the fact that we've partitioned the address space in a way that allows us to route packets from 'sharia' ruled countries to the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America and all of the EU is to our mutual benefit.
To suggest that you 'can shove those Sharia countries domains...' is to add insult to injury, nobody there asked for American and EU entrepreneurial types to buy these domains and use them, they are primarily intended for use by those countries nations. To muddy the intentions of TLDs is a questionable practice, how would you feel if Wallmart started to sell stuff under a .edu domain?
Those domains are not worthless, they just are what they are, regional TLDs, specifically with the intent to enable each country to govern their own TLD as they see fit.
Please also notice that .us is the regional domain for the United States, and not .com , and that it too has its own set of rules.
And they bothered because they like money, but if the downsides are too much for their sensibilities (with which you are free to disagree, as do I) they can make your life miserable. Just like you're not going to be mooning anybody in downtown Singapore it probably isn't smart to host an adult site on a predominantly Muslim country TLD.
Thanks for the .it article, I guess I rushed with assumptions. Governments are governments after all.
Majority of the Internet IS what you called a startup circle, because that's who builds all the resources people like you use. And to claim that I claim that a "country" owns the Internet means you don't know how to read – I stress that Internet is essentially owned by those who create resources and supported by those who use those resources – not by the governments of countries who think they can make rules and do whatever they want. They can do it physically – and end up having no value left, because those who create value have departed.
And besides – I am not even American.
"I would stay away from any Muslim country domain, just in case, including .io"
Are you aware that .io is assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory, which is "an overseas territory of the United Kingtom?" The registry itself is maintained by two UK-based companies, Internet Computer Bureau PLC and Cable and Wireless.