Uh-oh .io: Question mark hangs over trendy tech startup domains as UN condemns British empire hangover

www.theregister.co.uk | 5/28/2019 | Staff
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Special report The future of internet addresses ending in '.io' – popular with tech startups – may be in doubt after the United Nations condemned the UK's continued ownership over islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

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.

Islands - Part - Ocean - Territory - Territory

The islands are part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, are recognized as a sovereign territory, and as such have their own two-letter acronym – yep '.io' – and as a result have their own internet registry.

That registry has become increasingly popular with tech startups thanks to the "input/output" computer shorthand of "I/O" but the continued administration of the registry is uncertain, especially if the UK does what the international community has clearly indicated it feels it should and returns the islands.

Registry - Company - London - Internet - Computer

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.

Territories - Account - Funds - Territories - Expenses

"Each of the overseas territories have an account and the funds are deposited there because obviously the territories have expenses that they incur and it’s offsetting that," Kane explained – although that admission prompted...
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