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HootSuite Adds .Li Shorteners But Defends Use of .Ly

May 11,, Domaining, Domainnamewire,, hootsuite,, Policy & Law, url shortenerComments Off on HootSuite Adds .Li Shorteners But Defends Use of .Ly

Service adds back up URLs but says people need not worry about .ly. That’s wrong.

Social networking platform HootSuite has added alternatives to shorteners that use Libya’s country code domain name .ly after users expressed concerns about relying on the Libyan .ly domain name.

In addition to and, users can now use and .Li is the country code domain name for Liechtenstein.

At the same time the company defended the stability of .ly, echoing defensive arguments raised by It pointed out (and even provided an infographic) that there are multiple root servers for .ly outside Libya. It also said that .ly is “ultimately controlled by ICANN who can revoke access from the Libyan government and assume a caretaker role if needed”.

This is a false assurance.

Yes, there are multiple root servers for .ly. But that doesn’t matter if the government decides to delete specific domain names that it finds are contributing to the revolution.

And the idea that ICANN would intervene over this political matter seems far-fetched (beyond ensuring stability access to the domain). .Ly is Libya’s domain name, and it can decide how to operate it. It can decide which types of sites operate on it (e.g. no adult sites), who can register the domains, and other restrictions.

So while these URL shortener companies say all is well, I suspect they are quite a bit concerned. They’re just afraid to tell people that millions of links could break.

© 2011.

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Is Toast if Libya Shuts Down the Internet?

February 18,,, Domaining, Domainnamewire, libya, Policy & LawComments Off on Is Toast if Libya Shuts Down the Internet?

It’s possible.

One of my tweeps just sent me a link to an article questioning what would happen to .ly domain names if Libya decided to “shut down” the internet.

It’s a very good question. One of the most popular URL shortening services,, uses Libya’s .ly domain name.

We can rewind a bit and note that this isn’t the first time this question has been asked, and look at what happened in Egypt for the answer.

First things first, it doesn’t take social unrest to question the fate of a country code domain name. Back in 2009 Rogers Cadenhead asked a pointed question about .ly given Libya’s reputation in the world.

Then a .ly link shortener was shut down because it linked to adult content.

But if Libya “shuts down” the internet rather than taking aim at a particular service (and it could take aim at given its use to spread news about Libya on Twitter), what happens to anything on the .ly domain name?

We can look to what happened in Egypt for a very recent and relevant answer.

When Egypt stymied the internet the primary servers the ccTLD operators used were inaccessible as they were in Egypt. This meant they couldn’t resolve addresses.

In the case of the ASCII .eg domain name there were secondary servers that had cached the primary, meaning .eg domains were still accessible.

But the IDN version of Egypt’s country code hadn’t been cached at secondary locations, and it wasn’t accessible.

I suspect .ly has been cached on secondary servers, but I don’t know for sure.

The larger message is that there are dangers to using ccTLDs. Another example would be when Argentina retroactively enforced registration limits. Natural disasters can also play a role.

True, there are dangers to all TLDs. But some (.com) are safer than others.

Users need to be aware of the risks they’re taking.

© 2011.

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Related posts:

  1. Libya Shuts Down .ly Link Shortener
  2. and the Dangers of ccTLDs
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