US Court Rules ccTLDs Not Property Subject to Attachment In Case Brought By Terrorism Victims [UPDATED]

Victims of terrorism from Israel and the United States who sued to gain the assets of the Iranian (.IR), Syrian (.SY) and North Korean (.KP), (as well as internationalised TLDs for Iran and Syria) ccTLDs seized for compensation have failed.The decision came as a result of a U.S. federal court ruling that the ccTLD’s “at issue may not be attached in satisfaction of plaintiffs’ judgements because they are not property subject to attachment under District of Columbia law.”The court ruled that under District of Columbia law their attachment is not permissible. However the court also noted that even though ccTLDs may not be attached, it does not mean they cannot be property. In a footnote, “the Court concluded that ccTLDs may not be attached as a matter of District of Columbia law, there are no factual disputes that require further consideration. Therefore, the Court denies the plaintiffs’ motion for discovery as moot.”The ruling agreed with ICANN’s legal filings in the case. ICANN sought to quash the writs of attachment citing ICANN’s technical coordination role in the domain name system (DNS) and arguing that ccTLDs are not subject to attachment.”We are pleased that the court ruled in our favour on the grounds that the ccTLDs are not property, subject to attachment”, said John Jeffrey, ICANN’s General Counsel and Secretary. “The court’s ruling demonstrates a technical understanding of the DNS, and the role of ccTLDs in the single, global, interoperable internet.Had the case been successful, the case could have set a precedent and meant countries, in this case Iran, North Korea and Syria, could lose control of their ccTLDs. The case was brought by families who have won American federal court judgments that amount to more than a billion dollars against the Iranian government seek to own all the TLDs provided by the US to Iran including the .ir TLD, the ایران TLD and all Internet Protocol (IP) addresses being utilised by the Iranian government and its agencies. The court papers were served on ICANN.The case followed earlier cases brought in the US by the terror victim plaintiff/judgment holders against Iran. The districts courts repeatedly ruled that the suicide bombing and shooting attacks perpetrated by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organisations in Israel were funded by the Islamic regime through MOIS. However, although the families have received compensatory and punitive damage judgments against the defendants, Iran refused to satisfy the court awards. Iran has been designated by the Department of State as an outlaw nation that provides material support and resources to terrorist groups worldwide since 1996.ICANN has published the ruling at: