Is using an .ly domain right - or wrong? - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Techist Forum Information > News > The Net
Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-22-2011, 08:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
Destroyer of headlines
Megatron's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Headlines
Posts: 629
Default Is using an .ly domain right - or wrong?

A lot of people are wondering about using .ly (Libyan) domains now that casualties in the Libyan protests are mounting and the revolutions are more closely wed to technology than many could have ever imagined.

The large-scale demonstrations in Egypt were successful and inspired protests throughout the Middle East and North African countries such as Bahrain, Algeria, Iran, Libya and several others.

All of these have been huge and organized primarily through social media.

These oppressive governments have responded by arresting and using violence to try and stop the citizens’ demands for reform. Libya has been killing protesters outright and with no remorse.

That cutesy –ly domain doesn’t look so cute anymore

Cutting off the Internet was the initial salvo by governments to stop the flow of information.

* See this handy Middle East Internet Scorecard for outages from February 11th-17th.

The failed tactic first employed by Egypt – to shut the entire country off from Internet access – has been attempted in Libya in the form of what appears to be a sporadic internet curfew, in addition to a complete blackout of YouTube and Facebook access. The voices of Libya continued to be heard.

A lot of Internet denizens have been wondering about using those .ly domains – such as (sadly defunct) or link shortener

The primary concerns are if using sites and services somehow contribute to the ongoing, increasing horrors enacted by the Libyan government on its citizens – and coldly, if the domains are stable. As in, will your links still work?

I won’t say “my” links, because I won’t use .ly domains. Last year I ran a small .ly link shortener, only to have seized by the Libyan government with no notice.

The Atlantic summed the Libyans’ tardy explanations, which came late and with no recourse. My bare arms in a photograph were a primary reason. (I returned the service exactly as before on a .us domain.)

I remember trying to track down Libyan Spider admins and contacts through their Facebook pages when they’d abruptly deleted my domain and would not respond: now Libya has blocked Facebook so that would no longer be an option.

All .ly domains are administered through registrar Libyan Spider in accordance with the Libyan government “of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” and the General Assembly of “Libyan Internet Society.” They are not administered outside Libya.

When I paid my $75 a year (and renewed through August 2011, non-refunded), the money went to these entities, transferred through a US-based shopping cart system.

Obviously when you shorten a link with an .ly service you are not giving your own money directly to Libya – though when Mitt Romney read about my domain being seized, he felt his was a show of support to Gaddafi and promptly dropped the domain. Other businesses (such as, now and, now redirected) simply changed URLs upon realizing the .ly domain space was simply unsafe.

There’s the concern about committing social harm by using an .ly domain, and then there’s concern about the risk of stability.

When Libya seemed to be trying to shut off its Internet and started murdering citizens with guns, RPGs and now fighter planes, the question was raised to on Quora as to whether bit.y could be knocked offline.’s John Borthwick responded by explaining that Libya shutting off traffic would not affect “any .ly domain” stating that all (five) root servers would have to be knocked offline to take out.

He was quick(ly) taken to task by people who reminded us that all Libya needs to do is anything to affect the registration operations of .ly – which would eventually mean that if Libya stayed off the internet for up to four weeks, that would be that.

Same goes for when – not if – the Libyan government decides to take a closer look at what all those cute .ly domains are being used for. As I learned the hard way, they will delete them without notice or recourse, taking all of your work and records with it.

My domain was seized based on Libyan law. There is a regime change underway. Libyan law is therefore a moving goalpost.

Since the incident, the terms of prohibition (and seizure) on .ly domains have been changed, and expanded to include:

(…) words/phrases or abbreviations insulting religion or politics, or be related to gambling and lottery industry or be contrary to Libyan law or Islamic morality.

In principle, you are free to choose the domain name. However, you cannot choose names that are in use by other organizations, or names that for various reasons are prohibited or reserved for technical, ethical or national considerations.

Deciding whether or not using an .ly domain is “right” or “wrong”

Should Libyan Spider examine links being shortened on and apply the same terms as to, Libya would find it necessary to delete the domain. Under the terms above and in light of the current political event, even moreso.

If Libyan Spider, in concert with the Libyan government “of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” and the General Assembly of “Libyan Internet Society,” decided to look at all the protest information, free speech and anti-Gaddafi links being shortened on – well, they won’t like that one bit.

What do you think - is using an .ly domain the right thing to do, or not?

Megatron is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What happens if a domain user leaves the network of the domain controller? 706 Microsoft Windows and Software 3 09-25-2010 09:42 PM
Error: Domain controller could not be found for the specified domain. LightingBird Computer Networking and Internet Hardware 1 12-29-2008 05:23 PM
like my domain? Norcent Off Topic Discussion 58 03-08-2007 11:54 PM
Difference between broadcast domain and collission domain enravishankar Computer Networking and Internet Hardware 2 08-09-2005 12:51 AM
"CMOS settings wrong" & "CMOS memory size wrong" messages ja5on Monitors, Printers and Peripherals 1 03-28-2005 08:52 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.