.LY Domain Becomes Victim To Libyan Unrest

The operators of Letter.ly have found their domain name was taken down by the Libyan authorities after it expired and they were unable to renew it, reports TechCrunch.The move follows the Libyan government ordering the cancellation of VB.LY in October last year. VB.LY is a link shortening service run by run by Ben Metcalfe and Violet Blue that redirects to adult content, as it was declared that the content of the site was “against Sharia law”.”Pornography and adult material aren’t allowed under Libyan law, therefore we removed the domain,” a letter from the government-owned Libya Telecom & Technology agency said, adding: “The issue of offensive imagery is quite subjective, as what I may deem as offensive you might not, but I think you’ll agree that a picture of a scantily clad lady with some bottle in her hand isn’t exactly what most would consider decent or family friendly at the least,” according to a report in The Guardian at the time.The report went on to say “other moves made by the ministry could threaten the business of another web startup, bit.ly, which has had millions of dollars of investors’ money poured into it – including funding of $10m (£6.3m) received earlier this week – following the announcement in June by the Tripoli regulator for domain registry that domain registrations with fewer than four characters were restricted for use by registrars ‘having presence’ in Libya – that is, based in the country – where they would be under local Sharia jurisdictions.”Yesterday letter.ly sent a letter to users of its service, email newsletter authors, that TechCrunch reports said:
hello letterly authors, last week, the agency that we used to register the letter.ly domain was taken down as a side effect of the war in libya (.ly is the libyan top level domain). our domain registration expired, and we were unable to renew it. as the expiration propagated, the site appeared to be dead and emails sent to your subscribers probably bounced. 1) sorry for the hassle. it’s amazing that a physical war has affected our service in this way. 2) we are now letterly.net. this means that you will send emails to secretcode@letterly.net instead of secretcode@letter.ly, and new subscribers should be directed to letterly.net/yoururl.The inability to renew the letter.ly domain name, and taking down of the VB.LY domain, show the difficulty in relying on a ccTLD in a country where their values might not concur with the use of the domain or in a trouble spot.