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Earthquake survivors given domain renewal holiday

Kevin Murphy, February 14, 2023, Domain Policy

ICANN has announced that registrants in earthquake-hit Türkiye and Syria could have their domains protected from expiration.

It’s triggered part of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement that permits registrars to avoid deleting names owned by registrants unable to renew due to “extenuating circumstances”.

ICANN has declared last week’s quakes, which have claimed tens of thousands of lives, such a circumstance.

The move requires registrar participation to be truly effective. There are nine registrars based in Türkiye, none in Syria, but the offer is valid to all accredited gTLD registrars.

ICANN has exercised this power three times before — after Hurricane Maria, during the Covid-19 outbreak, and last year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.

How ICANN could help out after Türkiye earthquake

Kevin Murphy, February 8, 2023, Domain Policy

A new ICANN program could see funds directed to Türkiye and Syria after Monday’s devastating earthquakes.

Interim CEO Sally Costerton last month said that the Org has created an Emergency Assistance Program, which emerged out of the $1 million it pledged towards the crisis in Ukraine almost a year ago.

The initial donation saw money go to the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), a network of humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, charities and private companies that provides connectivity to disaster zones.

ETC said this week that a coordinator is on the ground in Türkiye to assess the need for its services. It has been in Syria for many years due to the ongoing bloody civil war.

While ICANN’s donation to ETC was a one-off, it intends to open an expressions of interest process soon for global organizations that provide communications during disasters. Contributions up to $1 million will be considered.

Much like the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there were calls this week for Elon Musk to make his Starlink satellites available over Türkiye to help coordinate emergency relief, but his subsequent offer was reportedly declined by the government.

There have also been reports today that the Turkish government has blocked access to Twitter in the country, after receiving criticism over its handling of rescue efforts.

While ICANN’s funds will of course not be available during the current phase of the crisis, they could if connectivity issues persist. The Turkish government has declared a three-month state of emergency.

The earthquake hit close to home for ICANN, which has several staff at its satellite office in Istanbul, more than a thousand kilometers from the quake’s epicenter.

Japanese quake victims get free .org renewals

Kevin Murphy, April 11, 2011, Domain Registries

The Public Interest Registry and 15 domain name registrars are working together to auto-renew .org domains that expired during the aftermath of the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
According to a PIR press release, registries and registrars will waive their renewal fees for one year.
The deal is only good for .org domains registered to a Japanese address that were due to expire between March 11 and June 11 this year.
Participating registrars include: Go Daddy, Ascio, INDOM,, Net 4 India, Discount Domains, Fabulous, Blacknight, Dotster, Moniker, Spirit Domains, Advanced Internet Technologies, Japan Registry Services, PSI-Japan, Network Solutions, and NameSecure.
Additional details can be found at the PIR web site.