Avoid US Domain Registrars – A Response

March 5th, 2008 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

My darling other half has just made another interesting blog post – this time about avoiding US domain registrars due to eNom (the second largest domain name registrar according to Webhosting.info) disabling domain names belonging to a British National (based in Spain) selling holidays/vacations in Cuba to European citizens (Nytimes article).

Sounds good in theory – but in practice, it’s a bit more difficult.

Why? Well, I mainly use a registrar called DirectI/ResellerClub (as I have a lot of domain names – over 60) who are based in India – but (ignoring the fact they now have a US office) I could, in theory, still have my domain names disabled by the US courts: because DirectI get their domain names (like all other .com/.net/.cc or .tv domain name providers) from a company called Verisign GRS who are the “root provider” (also known as the “authoritative directory provider”) of all those domains. And they are based in the USA and hence the US courts could just ask Verisign to suspend the domain names at their level.

“Ah ha!”, I hear you cry – what about my nice safe .co.uk or .eu domain name that I brought for a UK company such as Heart Internet? Well, again, there’s a catch. All .uk domain names are via Nominet (a UK based company) and all .eu domain names are from Eurid (a Belgium based company) – so on the “registrar” level they are safe (apart from the inter-country co-operation agreements). But ALL domain names (.com/.net/.uk and .eu) are ultimately allocated by an organisation called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) which is part of Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers (ICANN) which, whilst being a “private-public partnership” is a US organisation currently under the control of the US Department of Commerce (at least it’s a change – ICANN and IANA used to be run by the US Department of Defense).

So there you go – all your domain names are belong to the US Government!

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".

2 comments

  1. sjs says:

    I hate the American government they have control over the whole interweb (even though they didnt event it) and the whole world. Surely countries like japan and china like to have ownership of their domains and what about .gov.uk urls? Depressed…

  2. Ejudicator says:

    Great research for the post, and I laughed when I read the last line. I don’t think I have read a play-on “base” comment in a while. Cheers!

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