With an 116-6 vote the UK could lose the Chagos Islands, and with it, control of .IO domains

There’s a pretty long, not-so-great history related to the UK and control over the Chagos Islands. If you want to know more about the backstory here, GigaOm did a good piece on the Dark Side of .IO back in 2014 that’s worth a read.

Suffice it to say, there has been a lot of controversy around the UK’s involvement in the Chagos Islands, and now, with a huge majority it looks like the overwhelming feeling is, control of the islands should go back to Mauritius.

This week, the UN’s general assembly voted overwhelmingly 116-6 to condemn the UK’s occupation of the Chagos Islands. The non-binding resolution endorsed a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February that said the UK continued claim was illegal and the islands should be returned to the former British territory of Mauritius.

(Source – TheRegister.co.uk)

For those of you who either run your company on a .IO domain, or own a few as investments, there could be some changes coming you way. That being said, I don’t think we’re talking about the end of .IO, but this could mean that ownership of the popular domain extension could change.

So who actually runs the .IO registry now?

The registry is run by a company run out of London called Internet Computer Bureau (ICB), which also runs the registries for two other historically British territories: .sh and .ac which are the country-code top-level domains (ccTLD) for Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

ICB was given a perpetual license to run the registries by the UK government when the domain was added to the internet in the 1990s and its chief Paul Kane said in 2014 that a certain percentage of any profits are returned to the UK government’s bank account for that specific territory.

(Source – TheRegister.co.uk)

If the UK’s claim to the Chagos Islands goes away, so does ICB’s license for .IO. If there were to happen (which it very well could) I think Mauritius would just run the domain extension themselves, it brings in a considerable amount of revenue and would be very likely seen as a positive thing for them. Or at least, that’s my take.

To me it sounds like the UK did some pretty bad stuff here, they shouldn’t have ever had the right to run .IO in the first place, and now, the rightful owner is going to get it back. The chance of them shutting down an extension that is generating a lot of revenue globally seems slim-to-none to me, so in the end, the money just goes to the right place.

Of course, you may know more about this situation than I do because I’m certainly no expert here. I’d be interested to hear your take and what you think the impact to .IO would be long-term.

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy May 27, 2019, 7:22 pm

    Rebranded country code domains are quick sand. I doubt current registrants would ever get “wiped” but there is risk of large price rises with an ownership change.

    The main negative though is these extensions only stay popular for 5-10 years then they look very dated. The has happened to .me, .ly, .ws, .cc and I have little doubt .io will suffer the same fate.

  • Jason Franklin May 27, 2019, 7:30 pm

    Not sure why some start up tech companies are still using .io with all of the new options. I notice many new start ups are using .tech, .network or other alternative extensions, but some are still using the ccTLD of .io. Maybe this will create an even greater shift and awareness away from using ccTLD’s instead of all of the other great gTLD options now available for start ups.

    • Snoopy May 27, 2019, 8:17 pm

      Those new tlds are terrible, .io or or another rebranded country code is a far better option than that, at least it is short, but it is still highly flawed.

      Also it is not accurate to say “many new start ups are using .tech, .network or other alternative extensions, but some are still using the ccTLD of .io” that is laughable as .io would outnumber those other tlds 1000:1 in terms of startup usage.

      The vast majority of startups though make the right decision and use a .com.

      • Ethan May 27, 2019, 9:35 pm

        Your opinion is terrible, if you ask me. Technically speaking, new gTLDs themselves aren’t anything bad. Let’s face it: you keep slandering new gTLDs simply because they can affect your .com investment, right? Be respectable otherwise you would keep incurring dislikes.

        • Snoopy May 27, 2019, 10:06 pm

          How man new tlds have you sold?

          • Ethan May 27, 2019, 10:33 pm

            Keeping asking me my own new gTLD sales does not change the fact that new gTLDs do sell and only makes you look immature.

          • Snoopy May 27, 2019, 11:22 pm

            You don’t have any sales! That is Why you should stop your bad advice and listen instead.

          • Ethan May 28, 2019, 12:08 am

            I don’t listen to people who craftily link my sale status of new gTLDs with the value of all new gTLDs.

            Yesterday, I saw someone on NamePros forum saying he sold an .app domain for $2,000. Now what’s your excuse?

    • Fat Anon May 28, 2019, 12:12 am

      .network is too long and to be confused with .net – not great
      .tech is not too long (yet it is still long), and can be confused with .technology – not great

      .io has its own aura, there are well-known projects running on .io, and it is short.

      > I notice many new start ups are using .tech, .network

      Can you name these startups? ‘Cause I dont know any but would really like to know.

    • Frank Michlick June 4, 2019, 8:29 pm

      The trend for startups to use “.IO” started IMHO when Google called one of their events Google.IO and used that domain.

  • Kevin Murphy May 27, 2019, 11:43 pm

    Afilias bought .io quietly two year ago.


    Apparently Kieren didn’t do all his background reading while he was nicking my story.

    • Snoopy May 27, 2019, 11:49 pm

      Well it sounds like they bought some kind of right to run it on behalf of the U.K.? They are probably the big loser in it as surely that right will be worthless if the U.K. loses control.

    • Ethan May 28, 2019, 12:15 am

      The big losers will always be those who selfishly slender others’ rightful investments in order to inflate their own investments.

  • Bobby May 28, 2019, 12:24 am

    Top 5 .io sales (namebio)

    lucky.io 67,000 USD 2018-09-28
    mix.io 40,000 USD 2018-08-02
    esports.io 40,000 USD 2018-05-15
    tank.io 60,000 USD 2016-11-20
    cloud.io 45,000 USD 2015-05-29

  • Bob May 28, 2019, 1:41 am

    As of August 2018, Diego Garcia is the only inhabited island of the BIOT; the population is composed of military personnel and supporting contractors. Both UN and ICJ can go fuck themselves.

  • Antonio May 28, 2019, 5:14 am

    Hello Morgan. You were right when saying that Blockchain is a lot more, than crypto coin.
    On Afternic.com, Blockchaindawn.com is for sale.


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