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Domains are not US Territory!

Website names are International and have a requirement to be outside the control of a country

The Internet is The International Net. As such it is not controlled by any government of any country. This is important, because governments tend to abuse power, and some governments have been known to do very dodgy things because of politics.

Here's an interesting incoming message highlighting a rather worrying issue...

Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 3:31 PM

Hi There

I found out this afternoon that if you have a domain ending in .com or .net it counts as US territory. Even if your domain is hosted by a server outside the US because the traffic for domains ending in .com & .net are channelled thorough US servers the legal technicality those domains can come under US jurisdiction.

I found this out in regards to a Muslim who the US government are trying deport for supposedly operating Jihadist website. Despite the fact this guy has never been to the US & despite the server for the website not being hosted on a server in the US, because the website’s domain ended in .net the US government claim they have legal jurisdiction to prosecute him.

The warning here is if you have a website domain ending in .net or .com & you say something the authorities in the US don’t like then you could find yourself deported to the US.

It's important that The Internet maintains international neutrality because of the crucial matter of Freedom on the Internet. However, despite commonsense and the Rights of the Individual internationally, the United States made an attempt to claim that .net and .com domains were in fact US Territory. Absurd, obviously. However, this question is not the stupidity of it, but whether they get away with it. If they fail, not much harm done and they'll just get laughed at again. But if they succeed, there are plans to redirect various things in the Internet to counteract such political divisiveness by the USA. To put the boot on the other foot, if China had been given command of the main control of the Internet and they started applying their dictatorial political attitudes, techies around the world would soon cut them out and establish a new Internet based internationally, escaping hindrance from the communist regime.

Here's some more about the story:






Already there are plans afoot to reroute the root. Essentially, Verisign and ICANN could be out-of-a-job.

Incidentally, if the USA made some sort of territorial claims to ".us" , it might have a point. After all, Sri Lanka has dictatorial laws on what can be done on .lk domains, which means the Tamils can't have any free speech about their Independence on .lk domains. Similarly, the USA could become a kind of New Apartheid South Africa and apply .lk style rules to its own domain extension .us , and then people could choose to vote with their feet and avoid .us domains! The problem is that the United States has been entrusted with governing the .net and .com domains, and has since broken trust. Therefore, those domains need moving to a new independent international agency that's free of such problems.

Moving the domains away from the USA is surprisingly easier than it might at first seem. It's all to do with redirection. If the Rest of the World, or even a substantial set of techie folks, decided to abolish US control of the .net and .com , it would be sorted out quite efficiently, and there would be nothing the USA could do, apart from trying to apply censorship to the entire country, a bit like the Great Failed Firewall of China! This in itself would be opposed by a great many US citizens.

Another advantage of getting rid of Verisign and ICANN and moving the domains away from US control, is that it would be possible to eliminate the wholesale scam of cybersquatting, which has been the scourge of the domain business on account of the bad discount policy. Cybersquatters could be put out of business very easily by having a sensible policy on this.

I have heard it is all a matter of who controls the 200Kb file known as the "root". Alternatives to the US-controlled version are various. For example, there's the Cesedian Root, and there are a few others. These are not controlled by the USA.

Another thing: If there was even a hint that .net and .com sites were subject to authoritarian control by the USA government claiming them as "territory", their value would be drastically reduced. Domains become approximately worthless if there's no freedom of speech.

United States Law should only apply within the United States. Otherwise it counts as "extrajudiciality" and could be regarded as an implicit act of hostility against the Rest of the World.

Also see USA Extradition Problems