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Future of .io domains has become party-political issue in the UK

Kevin Murphy, May 9, 2019, 17:40:15 (UTC), Domain Registries

The future of the Chagos Islands and therefore the longevity of .io domain names may well depend on which party holds the reins of power in the UK.

The current Conservative government under Theresa May has this month rejected an international court ruling calling for the British Indian Ocean Territory — currently the official name of the archipelago — to be wound down and the lands returned to the exiled Chagossians.

But the leader of the official opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has reportedly slammed the government’s position and said Labour is “committed to respecting the advisory opinion in full, so as to ensure that Chagossians are able to return to their homes”.

In February, the International Court of Justice ruled that the UK had kept control of the islands unlawfully when Mauritius, which had the prior claim, gained its independence in 1968.

The couple thousand natives were kicked out of the country a few years later to make way for a US naval base, and have been living in Mauritius and the Seychelles with no ability to return ever since.

Were the UK to follow the ICJ ruling, it would quite possibly mean the end of BIOT as the name of the islands and therefore the demise of its two-letter country code, IO, and therefore the eventual retirement of the popular .io domain name.

.io, which is believed to have around 270,000 domains, is run by London-based Internet Computer Bureau Ltd, which Afilias bought for $70 million two years ago.

It’s popular with tech startups as a kind of domain hack for “input/output”.

Now that the UK government has officially come out against the ICJ ruling, and Labour has supported it, it appears the future of the Chagossians and .io registrants alike will depend rather on who is occupying 10 Downing Street in future.

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Comments (7)

  1. Marco says:

    Those who flocked to .IO did so with a short term thinking. Same with .Co, .Ly, and all those funny “cool looking/sounding” country extensions.

  2. Mike says:

    you are just jealous you didn’t get in early 🙂

  3. Decca says:

    No sympathy for anyone who uses anything other than .Com. What the h3ll were they thinking?

    Stupid is as stupid does!

    • Archeus says:

      Stupid is thinking that .com is the best… To a site for London, .London is very useful. But yes, like you said Stupid is as stupid does but we don’t think about the same people…

  4. Snoopy says:

    These extensions tend to only stay popular for 5-10 years (.ly, .me, .cc, .ws) so if it got wound down in 10 years it may not have much effect.

  5. Patrick says:

    Where are all the dot Co domains now, same will happen to dot IO people using domains as hacks is in my opinion not a professional look in the world of business, it’s a country code not input output.

  6. Ray Jones says:

    DNS is lame, anyone worth there salt stays away from that mode1 requirement

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