Tag Archives: Iceland

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway Set For .EU 8 January

EURid logoResidents, companies and organisations based in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will be eligible to register .eu domain names from 8 January 2014 at 10:00 CET.

“We welcome this positive development which has been in the air for some time,” commented the .eu registry’s General Manager Marc Van Wesemael. “The more countries and businesses that benefit from .eu’s unique identity, the stronger its brand becomes.”

“Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have had close economic ties with the European Union since the Community’s early years. Granting them access to the .eu top-level domain is a natural step forward in that relationship.”

“Our annual research shows that .eu is seen as a reliable and valuable online label. We are confident that the companies and residents of these countries will soon appreciate the advantages of the .eu TLD, including the strong security procedures for its management and databases.”

The decision by the European Commission to extend the “.eu zone” follows up on the provision contained in the original .eu regulation (EC 733/2002), which foresaw the extension of .eu to the European Economic Area.

TLD Hopping Pirate Bay Forced To Move Once Again

Following the seizure of its .sx domain name, The Pirate Bay has once more been forced to change its domain, this time moving to .ac, the ccTLD for Ascension Island.Its previous domain with the Sint Maarten ccTLD was shut down Monday night. The Pirate Bay has previously used the ccTLDs of Iceland (.is), Sweden (.se), Greenland (.gl). The latest stop with .ac is only temporary though and is the fifth TLD used in 2013.”Fearing a domain seizure by the Swedish authorities The Pirate Bay quickly switched to a Greenland-based domain in April, later hopping to Iceland, and eventually landing .SX domains as other problems became apparent,” reported Torrent Freak.”The AC domain is directly connected to the UK, so it’s just a quick stop there,” a Pirate Bay insider told Torrent Freak. After solving some technical issues the infamous torrent site plans to move to the Peruvian .PE ccTLD.The latest seizure has come about following pressure from the entertainment industry, the .sx ccTLD appearing to seize the domain, Torrent Freak also reported. “The torrent site itself hasn’t been taken down and has quickly relocated to a new address on Ascension Island’s .AC ccTLD.””It’s seems possible that the domain seizure is connected to pressure applied by Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, which represents a variety of copyright holders,” Torrent Freak also reported.”Last month BREIN sent a letter to the contact email address for The Pirate Bay’s domain, which is registered to site co-founder Fredrik Neij. In their letter BREIN pointed out that the site infringes on the rights of copyright holders worldwide.”The group added that the .SX domain is controlled by the Dutch part of Sint Maarten, suggesting that BREIN has jurisdiction over it.””We expressly point out that by registering domain names and using these and/or allowing these to be used by The Pirate Bay, you infringe on the rights of Rights Owners. Therefore, the Rights Owners hold you liable for the damages that they have suffered and will suffer from your actions,” the letter read. The letter threatened a €25,000 per day fine if the site remained online.

.EU Coming For Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway

EURid logoIt is likely that residents, companies and organisations based in the European Economic Area (EEA) countries of Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway will shortly be able to register .eu domain names.

EURid is waiting on an official communication from the European Commission regarding the eligibility and will keep all their stakeholders up to date and will make sure that they are adequately informed as soon as we receive the communication.

EURid manages the .eu top-level domain under contract to the European Commission and according to the conditions outlined in EC Regulations 733/2002, 874/2004 and subsequent amendments.

European ccTLD Growth Slowing But Still Higher Than gTLDs

It may have a reputation for being one of the TLDs with the most phishing domains, but the number of .tk (Tokelau) domain names under management continues to soar. Registrations grew by 13.9 percent in the quarter ending August, according to the latest Centr DomainWire StatReport, with total registrations reaching 19.1 million for the ccTLD whose domain names are given away for free.The report notes .de (Germany) continues to progressively grow and maintain its second place with 15.5m DUM while .uk (United Kingdom) comes in third with 10.6m. But .cn (China) continues to rapidly grow, again, and is now back to 7.8m.Within Europe, at the end of August 2013 there were just over 65.1m DUM while over the past 12 months, overall net growth is 5.9 percent – an increase of around 3.6m. The largest contribution to the increase came from .ru with 780,000.The ccTLDs with the largest growth rate within Europe were .me (Montenegro) where registrations grew by 5.2 percent in the quarter ending August, followed by .ru (Russian Federation – 4.1%), Cyprus (.cy – 3.8%), .pt (Portugal – 3.4%) and then .is (Iceland – 2.9%).The report also shows the number of domain names per person. This statistic is skewed by how the ccTLD is marketed, with .me ranking highly due to it being marketed more as a gTLD. The Centr report shows that .li (Liechtenstein) has the highest penetration with 181 domains per 100 people for the 37,000 people in the country, followed by .me with 116. Then follows .nl (Netherlands – 32), .ch (Switzerland – 23), .dk (Denmark – 22), .de (19) and then .uk (17).The report also notes that growth rates in European ccTLDs have slowed over the past 12 months. The growth rate for the year to August 2013 was 5.9 percent (compared to the 12 months to April 2012 whose growth rate was 6.6 percent) but this was on average 2.5 percent higher than for gTLDs globally. The average monthly growth of all European ccTLDs is 0.47 percent. Globally the number of ccTLD registrations grew by one percentage point in the 12 months to August 2013, while gTLDs share dropped by the corresponding percentage point.Marketing is also looked at in the report, with how ccTLDs are marketed. Registries use traditional as well as new marketing tools, as shows the below graph which is based on a June 2013 survey amongst CENTR members. The same survey shows that a large majority of the registries have, or are developing, a formal marketing plan. The traditional ‘offline’ channels such as printed media, TV and radio are used by several registries while others cooperate with registrars with sponsorship arrangements and co-marketing initiatives and programmes.The report is available for download from centr.org/system/files/share/domainwire_stat_report_2013_2.pdf.

Swedish Registry Answers Questions On Will It Shut Down ThePirateBay.se

With The Pirate Bay now using a .SE domain name in an attempt to avoid US authorities seizing control of its domain, the Swedish registry .se has put out a statement explaining the situation for the file sharing sites current preferred domain name.Back in February The Pirate Bay switched from using a .ORG domain to .SE following US government agencies seizing a number of .COM domains that were being used for selling counterfeit goods and other activities. Operation In Our Sites has been operated by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center). Through the operation, the US government had seized 769 domain names as of July 2012.The statement from .se is below:Will .SE shut down thepiratebay.se?When the Supreme Court of Sweden decided in February not to examine the court of appeal’s ruling in the protracted trial against The Pirate Bay (TPB), the file-sharing site was relocated from .org to .se. .SE has not been issued a formal court order to take action based on the ruling. However, we receive many questions about how we would react if the situation were to come to a head, which I would now like to address.So far, .SE has not taken any actions following the ruling against TPB since we do not consider ourselves obligated to do so based on the contents of the ruling. Nor is it possible to answer hypothetical questions regarding how we would respond if we were to receive a formal order. Our actions would largely be determined by the contents of the order and the issuing party. Accordingly, we will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis if such an order is issued.
Generally speaking, what actions can .SE take against a domain name registrant?We always have the right to take action based on a ruling against us pertaining to a specific domain name. Under Item 6 of our user agreement, we also have the right to deactivate and deregister a domain in the event that the domain itself or the manner in which it is used constitutes an obvious infraction against Swedish law. This provision is formulated in such a way as to enable us to take action in obvious cases – for example, in the distribution of child pornography or agitation against a national or ethnic group.However, this is a right not an obligation, and such action would only be taken after a decision is made by .SE’s Board of Directors. Such a decision has never before been made.We believe that the judicial authorities should determine whether or not it is appropriate to take action against a particular domain name registrant. Unless we have been ordered to do so, there is a risk that we could call the validity of the legal process into question by taking action before a ruling is passed.However, on a couple of occasions, we have deactivated a domain when suspicions of identity theft were raised and the domain in question had been used for what is known as phishing.What actions could the court order us to take?Naturally, we cannot know for certain, but a few possibilities are that the court could order the domain name to be deregistered, the name server to be removed or the domain name to be forfeited (seized) or placed on .SE’s block list.
Three ways to block a domainTPB is currently blocked in several countries. However, the methods used to block a domain are all relatively easy to circumvent and thus essentially ineffective. Three main methods exist. To illustrate these methods, we have chosen to compare them with various ways of breaking into a shoe store located in a shopping mall.1. Block the IP addressThis method is used, for example, by the Chinese state to limit its citizens’ access to websites deemed to be objectionable by the regime. The IP addresses of these sites are compiled in a list and no traffic is permitted to access them. However, it is relatively easy for the owner of the website to move it to another IP address, thereby circumventing the block.Users can also bypass a blocked IP address using an anonymity service, such as Tor, but this requires a relatively high level of technical ability.Blocking an IP address can be compared to blocking the entrance to a shoe store. While a determined customer would undoubtedly be able to enter through an emergency exit at the back of the store, most would assume the store was closed and shop elsewhere.2. Block or shut down the domain nameIt is possible to block a domain name by contacting either .SE, which can deregister the domain name, or the name server operator – usually a web hosting company – which is responsible for keeping track of the IP address or addresses associated with the domain name. However, the domain may still be accessible through the address.Removing a domain name can be compared to taking down the signs hanging outside the shoe store. Although this would make it more difficult for customers to find the store, it would still be there and any customers who were able to find it would be able to continue buying shoes there.3. Seize the serverWhen the Swedish police cracked down on web hosting company PRQ, PRQ’s servers were seized. However, it did not take long before The Pirate Bay was up and running again, since the contents of the servers had been copied in several other locations.In the physical world, this can be compared to closing the shoe store and confiscating the shoes, but the parallels end there. Since it is not possible to make back-up copies of physical products, such as shoes, it would be much more difficult for the storekeeper to resume operations.
The domain is not the problemWe believe the problem in this type of situation is not the domain, but rather its contents. The domain name itself is not an accomplice in act of copyright infringement and if thepiratebay.se, for example, were to be shut down, the site would almost certainly reopen under another top-level domain.

VIDs Coming For .IS Domains

ISNIC logoYou’ve heard of VIPs (Very Important Persons). Now ISNIC, the registry for .IS domain names, has launched VIDs, or Very Important Domains!

The change, which the Icelandic registry describes as “a very important change” is designed to increase the security of .IS domains further.

VID’s will get special treatment, especially regarding rights and renewals. So called VID insurance means that a VID’s registration never expires accidentally. It will also be harder to transfer VID’s to new registrants, since it will require confirmation from the registrants themselves, either digitally or a signed confirmation.

To prepare for this change, ISNIC are asking for domain registrants to update the registrants email at ISNIC, which can be done under “Modify Registration” on My Page. Only the administrative contact can edit the registrant information. In the northern autumn, all administrative contacts and registrants with a registered email address will get an email where these changes will be explained in detail.


.IS Revises Registration Policies

The .IS registration rules (.IS domain policy) have been reorganised and rewritten. No substantial changes have been made but the wording has been updated and modernised.

The rewriting of the policies were done by a local law student Steindór Dan Jensen in cooperation with the ISNIC staff. The new rules will come into effect on 1 November 2011.

For a PDF of the new domain name registration rules, see:

ISNIC Issues Statement On Possible Reasons For Wikileaks.is Deletion

ISNIC logoThe registration of wikileaks.is has caused the Icelandic registry, ISNIC, to issue a statement stating under what conditions they would delete the domain name.

The registry states the answer is simple – such an action would require a formal court order from an Icelandic court. But in 25 years of the organisation’s existence ISNIC says they have never been handed such a verdict about any .IS domain during its close to 25 years of history.

This is similar to Switzerland, where the registry also issued a statement stating the conditions on which they would delete the wikileaks.ch domain name. The registry there, SWITCH, also issued a statement on the issue saying that for them to delete a domain name in such circumstances would require a statutory decision, such as a court order, for the deletion of a domain name.

And similarly to the Swiss registry, ISNIC stated that ISNIC it “is not responsible for the registrant’s usage of his/her domain, the contents of email sent from the domain’s email addresses (e.g. wikileaks@wikileaks.is) or the content of the domain’s web pages (e.g. www.wikileaks.is). It is ISNIC’s duty and prime function to maintain uninterrupted service to all .IS-domains, at all times, anywhere in the world. Only Icelandic authorities, armed with a court order, can order ISNIC to delete or close down a particular .is-domain. This has, as said before, never happened.”

For more information and to read the ISNIC statement in full, see www.isnic.is/y/news/view/id/204.

The SWITCH statement and more information on .CH domain names is available from www.switch.ch/about/news/2010/wikileaks.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .IS or .CH domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

New Law To Confirm .IS Policy

ISNIC logo[news release] The Icelandic ministry of Communications has published a proposed a new law concerning the country code top level domain .is. The proposed new law also covers any future top level domains that in some way reference or are related to Iceland . For almost 25 years (since hi.is, the first .is domain was registered) the rules of ISNIC have been applied to the registration of .is domains. They will continue to apply but in the future (if the proposed bill is signed into law) will be backed up by laws and regulations.

ISNIC encourages the registrants of .is domains to study the proposed bill, and accompanying comments. The proposed new law about .is, in Icelandic, is available here.

ISNIC has several reservations, but it is our wish that the new law will result in better protection for the registrants and preservation of the quality of the .is neighbourhood. ISNIC has proposed amendments to better protect the independence of the domain, as an address on the internet, but not regulate and restrict so as to limit future development.

ISNIC is also of the opinion that questions regarding content stored on websites are unrelated to the domain itself. Domains are first and foremost addresses on the Internet. Domains as such do not have any content.

.IS Passes 30,000 Registrations Milestone

ISNIC logoLast week it was the announcement that .NL had passed the four million registration mark, but not every ccTLD is so large and smaller milestones are just as momentous. So the announcement that .IS, the Icelandic ccTLD, had passed the 30,000 registrations marks is probably equally momentous to them.

The 30,000th registration was coupon.is, registered to Aspiro AS in Oslo Norway.