Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

US Feds seize 33 Iranian news site domains

Kevin Murphy, June 23, 2021, Domain Policy

The US government said it has seized control of 33 domain names previously belonging to an Iranian TV news station that the US considers linked to terrorism.

The Department of Justice said the domains had been registered by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union, which it said is controlled by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, designated as a terrorist organization.

Among the domains is presstv.com, used by Press TV, an Iranian state-owned station that broadcasts news in English and French.

The DoJ said the sites were “disguised as news organizations or media outlets” and “targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations”.

All of the seized names reportedly use .com, .net and .tv domains, which are all operated by Verisign.

The DoJ obtained a court order to grab the names.

As an overseas registrar was used to register the names, it appears the court order instructed Verisign, based in the US, to hand them over.

The domains now direct to a US government placeholder informing visitors of the seizure. Some of the affected web sites have reportedly started using new domains.

Under US law, “Specially Designated Nationals” listed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control are forbidden from obtaining services from US companies without a special license.

The DoJ said it has seized an additional three domains owned by Kata’ib Hizballah (Kataib Hezbollah), an Iraqi militia backed by Iran.

Iraq to get IDN ccTLD

Kevin Murphy, September 26, 2014, Domain Registries

Iraq was this week granted the right to use a new Arabic-script country-code top-level domain.

ICANN said the war-torn nation’s request for عراق., which is Arabic for “Iraq”, has passed the String Evaluation phase of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track program.

Like .iq, the registry will be the government’s Communications and Media Commission.

Once delegated, the Punycode inserted into the root will be .xn--mgbtx2b.

ICANN said Iraq is the 33rd nation to have an IDN ccTLD request approved. There are currently 26 IDN ccTLDs in the root. Most of them aren’t doing very well.