Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Registrars Can Now Apply For Accreditation To Offer .SA Domain Names [updated]

Saudi Arabia is moving from the current allocation of domain names directly from the registry to the more common registry/registrar model.

The change was announced in February when the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) updated the ‘Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation’ which is described as one of the most efficient practices in the domain name industry.

Continue reading Registrars Can Now Apply For Accreditation To Offer .SA Domain Names [updated]

ICANN: Register Now to Participate in the 7th Middle East DNS Forum

ICANN announced its Middle East DNS Forum (MEDNSF) from 24-25 March this year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, hosted by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC).

There are billions of Internet users of different cultures, languages, economic strata, and education levels. Much of ICANN‘s work, such as helping mitigate DNS abuse, or raising awareness about Internationalized Domains and Universal Acceptance, is towards protecting these users, and creating an environment that is welcoming for the next billion users. It is also an ICANN focus area to encourage participation, representation, and engagement from people all around the world, for whom access to one global Internet has much to offer.

The Forum features presentations and panel discussions on topics ranging from DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC), and the policy discussions on developments on the DNS ecosystem, as well as the benefits of using the Arabic script on the Internet.

ICANN‘s Chief Technology Officer David Conrad will give a keynote on the DNS of Tomorrow discussing the current DNS landscape and ecosystem, emerging standards and challenges including the DNS Over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (DoT), and other technologies such as the Internet of Things, 5G, and Smart Cities, and how they impact ICANN‘s work.

To register and view the full agenda, please click here. Remote participation will be available. For more information or inquiries, please contact meac.swg@icann.org.


ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2020-01-27-en

Daily Wrap: EU Says ITU Should Not Have More Power, Kiwi Fight Over TLDs, .SA, .EE, .IE Awards And Aeroflot.xxx Dispute

There may be a case for governments having more say in the way the internet is run, EU digital commissioner Neelie Kroes told ZDNet last week, but — even if this were to happen — it would not necessitate giving the ITU more power.

“Of course there are voices saying it would be better with the UN [but] I’m not in favour of the line that, if you have a problem, you can only solve it in a new structure,” Kroes said, adding that it was first worth examining the calls for more government input.

“I still think that the remarks that are made [about giving governments a greater voice] can be included in a solution within the structure of today,” she said. “I’m not aware that that can’t be done, so I’m not willing to [favour] a new structure.”

The creation of the kiwi.nz second level domain will only cause confusion, the applicant for the .KIWI gTLD has said.

Tim Johnson, chief executive of Dot Kiwi Ltd told the New Zealand Herald approving kiwi.nz was not in the best interests of internet users “or in fact the internet in New Zealand”.

“Why would potential registrants want .kiwi.nz when they could have .KIWI?”

SaudiNIC has started a process of updating Whois details for .SA domain names, sending out requests to registrants to check and if necessary update their registrant details.

ICANN’s board of directors is set to approve مليسيا., the Arabic name for Malaysia, at a meeting next week, Domain Incite reported.

The Estonian Internet Foundation announced the public procurement for an audit of the code of the information systems (Domain Registry Software Security Audit) it uses, the organisation announced last week. The bid submission deadline is 10 September 2012.

Over to Ireland and the Irish Internet Association has announced the shortlist for this year’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards and online voting is now open.

Aeroflot, the Russian airline, has won a dispute lodged with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center over the aeroflot.xxx domain name, however the original registrant does not agree with the ruling and is threatening to appeal.

Daily Wrap: Manwin’s Antitrust Case Against ICM, ICANN Continues, Saudi gTLD Objections, Problems For Americans And .SY Domains, Romeny/Ryan Cybersquatters And Domain Name Addiction

A federal judge has ruled he will not dismiss Manwin’s antitrust claims against ICANN and the .XXX registry, ICM Registry. According to XBiz, a “federal judge has pared Manwin’s antitrust lawsuit against ICM Registry and ICANN, granting in part and denying in part motions to dismiss the case.”

The XBiz report notes that “Luxembourg-based Manwin filed suit last November, alleging that ICM Registry received the original and renewal registry contracts without competition, is charging above-market .XXX prices, imposes other anticompetitive .XXX sales restrictions and has, because of its ICANN contract, precluded other adult-oriented top-level domains from operating.”

Manwin is an adult industry conglomerate that includes YouPorn among its stable of brands.

XBiz also looks at the comments on new gTLD applications, and at the time of their article notes that “about 13 percent (776 of 6,151) of the comments on the ICANN Application Comments forum are directed at [.ADULT, .SEX and .PORN].”

Headlines such as “Porn domain not needed or wanted,” “Please don’t make the world worse” and “No more indecency” are atypical XBix notes, as are some of the contributors — one repeat poster is Morality in Media President Patrick Trueman.

And Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission has got in on the act, complaining about the abovementioned three gTLD applications, as well as the applications for .HOT, .BABY, .TATTOO, .SEXY, .BAR, .CASINO, .DATING, .WINE, .SEXY and .STYLE.

“Many individuals and societies find this string offensive on religious and/or cultural grounds,” the Saudi Arabian regulating agency posted on the ICANN site. “We oppose the introduction of [these] gTLD [strings] on both of these grounds, and because pornography causes huge damage to society’s social fabric.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia has also objected to .ISLAM.

Andy Wasley, from Stonewall, who works for equality and justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, told the BBC “Saudi Arabia already prevents its 1.9 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people from visiting community websites, like Stonewall’s, that offer support and information. It’s disappointing that it now wants to censor the internet for 420 million gay people worldwide.”

The BBC notes Saudi Arabia has also objected to:

  • .SEX on the grounds it would increase the proliferation of pornographic material on the web.
  • .VIRGIN, .SUCKS, .DATING and .BABY because they might also be used by pornographic sites.
  • .TATTOO because the practice is contrary to religions “such as Islam and Judaism”.
  • .WINE and .VODKA since they could glamourise the consumption of alcohol.
  • .AFRICAMAGIC because it “implies that it is linked to black magic and this is considered offensive”.

Slate looks at the predicament of Art.sy, “a slick, fine-art website that aims to digitise all of the world’s artworks.” But .SY is the ccTLD for the “Syrian Arab Republic, and .SY domain names can only be purchased and renewed from a Syrian government entity run by a member of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. By maintaining its undoubtedly cute domain name, Art.sy appears to have been breaking United States sanctions against the war-torn country.”

But things became complicated when “in early 2011, authority for Syrian domain name subscriptions was taken over by the National Agency for Network Services (NANS), another Syrian government entity, which directed that all registration and renewal payments be made to an account at the Commercial Bank of Syria.”

Slate then notes that “although the company’s money was going to fund a known dictator and U.S.-designated sponsor of terrorism, it was not, as yet, breaking any laws, because Syria was not yet under sanctions. However, with the rise of the Arab Spring and Assad’s bloody clampdowns on his population, on Aug. 10, 2011, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Commercial Bank of Syria a Specially Designated National (SDN) and froze all property and assets of the bank. This prohibited U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions including payments, transfers, and ‘other dealings’ in which the bank had an interest. A week later President Obama announced Executive Order 13582, which prohibited ‘investment in Syria by a United States person, wherever located.’”

“Art.sy thought the timing of its purchase made it immune to these rulings—a position the company still maintains.”

Cybersquatters were quick on the job when it came to domain names for the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan Republican campaign team.

“Even before Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate, entrepreneurial cybersquatters swooped in to buy up relevant Web domain names,” reports the Daily Caller.

Some of the domain names registered include paulryan.com, romneyandryan.com and romney-ryan.com, which are now up for sale.

An Irish Paul Ryan has had paulryan.com registered since 2001 and when contacted by the Daily Caller declined to say if the Obama or Romney campaigns had contacted him about buying paulryan.com, but he told them “I am having the domain name valued, I have had a lot of interest in it.”

Meanwhile Fast Company has an article saying that if you have registered more than 300 domain names “you may be suffering from ‘domain name addiction’–the tendency to register many URLs without following through on one strong idea, says recovering addict Lea Woodward.”

Saudi Registry To Open Second Level Registrations

The registry for .SA domains, the Saudi Network Information Center, has unveiled plans to allow for registrations at the second level.

Existing registrants with a third level domain are entitled to submit an application by 6 December 2010 for the corresponding domain name at the second level.

Following this, a Sunrise period will operate from 6 December to 7 March 2011 where SaudiNIC shall accept applications for registration of a second level domain name by existing third level registrants meeting the criteria set forth in this second level domain regulation. Only qualified registrants may submit an application for a .SA second level domain name during the Sunrise Phase.

A Landrush phase will follow where SaudiNIC shall begin accepting applications for registration of .SA second level domain names from members of the general public. The Landrush phase commences on 2 May.

A qualified registrant is an entity or individual who has registered a domain name with SaudiNIC before the Sunrise Phase provided that its registration application date is before the qualification date.

Eligible registrants for .SA domain names must be an entity physically located in Saudi Arabia, a person “not underage” with a Saudi national identification card or equivalent document issued by the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia or a business trading in Saudi Arabia.

All dates used by SaudiNIC are according to the Hijri calendar, which is based on the Umm AlQura calendar. Dates given above are from SaudiNIC and the equivalent dates in the Gregorian calendar, or western calendar, are also given by SaudiNIC.

For more information on registering .SA domain names, check out nic.net.sa.

Landrush phase of Arabic domains under السعودية. commences

The Saudi Arabian Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced that the Landrush phase of Arabic domain names registration under السعودية. has officially began.

The Landrush phase commenced at 10:00 on Monday 18th Shawwal 1431 H (27 September 2010 for the rest of us).

During this phase, the registration will be opened for any entity or individual on a first come, first served basis according to the terms and conditions guiding the registration process as well as other SaudiNICs regulations and procedures. Applying for this phase is only accepted electronically through SaudiNIC website.

For more information, go to the SaudiNIC website at saudinic.net.sa/page.php?page=9&lang=1

Domain Names Now Available in Non-Latin Characters

Complete domain names can be registered in non-Latin characters for the first time as of May 5 with three Arab nations the first to have internationalised domain names (IDNs) placed in the DNS root zone, ICANN announced.The three new top level domains (TLDs) are:

  • Egypt: مصر (Egypt)
  • Saudi Arabia: السعودية (AlSaudiah)
  • United Arab Emirates: امارات (Emarat).

“All three are Arabic script domains, and will enable domain names written fully right-to-left,” said Kim Davies, Root Zone Services Manager of ICANN.One of the first websites operational as a result of the introduction of IDNs was for the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology whose domain name is وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر“If your software does not have full IDN support, this might not work exactly as expected,” Davies wrote on the ICANN blog. “You may see a mangled string of letters and numbers, and perhaps some percent signs or a couple of “xn--“s mixed into the address bar. Or it may not work at all.”These are the first IDN ccTLDs to appear online as a result of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process which was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009.To date ICANN has received a total of 21 requests for IDN ccTLD(s) representing 11 languages including Chinese, Russian, Tamil and Thai. A total of 13 requests have successfully passed through the “String Evaluation” (the second stage of the process) and are hence ready for the requesting country or territory to initiate the request for TLD Delegation (the final stage of the application process). As of today, the first three of these have been delegated into the DNS root zone, which means they are available for use.More than 20 countries have applied for an IDN ccTLD. For a list of those IDN ccTLDs to have passed the fast track string evaluation, see icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion-en.htm.Arabic has now become the first non-Latin script to be used as an IDN ccTLD. Arabic is among the most highly used languages on the Internet today. The Middle-East has an average Internet penetration of just over 20%, and shows a big potential for growth. Users in the region will now have easier access to the Internet, with the ability to use their primary language for the entire domain name.

ICANN Gives Final Approval for Four Countries to Use Non-Latin Languages in Internet Address Names

The ICANN Board of Directors has approved the last application step for four countries to use their national language scripts in the last portion of Internet address names.

Egypt, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates received approval to use their non-Latin language scripts in the top-level domain (TLD) part of an Internet address name. The top-level domain follows the dot, such as dot-com or dot-org.

“This decision means that, for the first time, we will see non-Latin characters, specifically Arabic and Cyrillic, in an entire Internet address name,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN. “This will open the door to the Internet to Arabic and Russian speakers who may have never been online.”

The Board’s action is part of ICANN’s move to internationalize the Internet by facilitating the use of non-Latin characters in the top-level domain. Until recently, technical constraints meant that all domain names had to end in letters from the Latin alphabet (A through Z). After years of work by ICANN, a global system for the use of other scripts has been designed and tested. It was approved in October.

“Today is a milestone in the development of the Internet,” said Tina Dam, Senior Director of the IDN program. “The Board’s approval means these addresses should be available to users in the four countries very soon.”

The internationalized domain name program is being rolled out in stages. IDNs will initially be allowed on a limited basis for individual country domain names (known as country code top-level domains or ccTLDs). These four countries can now use non-Latin scripts for dot-eg (Egypt), dot-ru (Russia), dot-sa (Saudi Arabia) or dot-ae (U.A.E.). Eventually, IDNs will be allowed in the TLD portion of all Internet address names.

This is the first time any country has completed the entire application process under ICANN’s Fast Track IDN ccTLD program.

The Board also passed a measure that is expected to expedite the appearance of Chinese characters in top-level domains as part of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track. To read more about that, go here: icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-22apr10-en.htm#synchronized.

To read today’s Board resolution on IDN top-level domains for Egypt, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, go here: icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-22apr10-en.htm#idn-cctlds.

To read more about the IDN ccTLD Fast Track, go here: icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track.


About ICANN:

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: icann.org.

Egypt Submits Symbolic First Application for Internationalised Domain Name

Egypt, host of the United Nations sponsored Internet Governance Forum being held this week, Russia and China were among the first countries to submit applications to ICANN for internationalised domain names (IDNs) in non-Latin characters.In total six countries applied for IDNs in three languages. Saudi Arabia was another country known to have applied, also applying for an IDN in Arabic, along with Ukraine.ICANN, the organisation charged with overseeing the Internet’s naming and numbering systems, has invited applications for IDNs, receiving the first applications on Monday this week, as part of its IDN country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Fast Track Process.IDNs are domain names that include characters other than the currently available set of the English alphabet (the 26 letters “a-z”, numbers 0 to 9, and hyphens). ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush noted, “The IDN program will encompass close to one hundred thousand characters, opening up the Internet to billions of potential users around the globe.”Egypt’s application is for .MISR, which is the equivalent in ASCII characters as the Arabic language term for “Egypt”. Egypt’s Communications Minister Tarek Kamel said the process of implementing IDNs would require “strong investment in the coming phase.””There will also be issues to deal with: linguistic, technical, legal, related to intellectual property and many other big challenges,” Kamel told reporters at the IGF.China’s application is for .中国 domain name suffix while Russia has applied for .РФ and Ukraine applied for .УКР.It is anticipated the first ccTLD IDNs will come online in 2010.