The new African nation of South Sudan has officially been given the two-letter country code SS, meaning it is likely just months away from getting the top-level domain .ss.
The SS string appeared on the International Standards Organization’s ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 code list this week, following a request by the government of the country.
The 3166 list is the standard by which ICANN judges a territory’s eligibility to be delegated a country-code top-level domain.
South Sudan does not yet appear on IANA’s list of ccTLDs, but it’s likely to be added soon.
The last three nations to form, following the breakup of the Netherlands Antilles last October, already have ccTLD records in the IANA database, although none have yet been officially delegated to a registry or added to the DNS root system.
The delegation of a new ccTLDs is usually a much more straightforward proposition than the redelegation of an existing ccTLD to a new manager, which can take many years.
South Sudan declared independence July 9 this year and was officially recognized by the United Nations five days later.
It’s one of the world’s poorest and unhealthiest nations: it is estimated that 11% of its children die before their fifth birthday and that 2% of mothers die in childbirth.
Getting a ccTLD is probably quite low on the nation’s list of priorities.
According to reports, the South Sudan government was well aware of the connection “SS” has to the Nazis in Europe when it asked for the string.
It’s pretty tenuous connection, and I doubt anyone reasonable would take offense, but the incoming registry may want to add a few well-chosen strings to its reserved list just in case.