Libya Government Shuts Down Vb.ly. Are Bit.ly, Ow.ly or Smel.ly Next?

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Ben Metcalfe blogged out a warning after his domain Vb.ly was shut down by NIC.ly. He gave the reason, “because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.”

This, with a number of other factors, was enough for Metcalfe to state that the “.ly domain space should be considered unsafe” and that other sites, like bit.ly and ow.ly, should be forewarned

If you’re interested, you can read Metcalfe’s and Violet Blue’s blog posts in full here.

Metcalfe outlines the following in the conclusion of his blog post of what he’s learned over the past two weeks since his domain was taken down:

  • .ly domains deemed to be in violation of NIC.ly regulation are being deregistered and removed without warning – causing significant inconvenience and damage.
  • .ly domains are being deregistered and removed due to reasons that do not correspond to the regulations defined in the official NIC.ly Regulations.
  • NIC.ly seems to want to extend their reach beyond the domain itself and regulate the content of websites that use a .ly domain. The concept amounts to censorship and makes .ly domains untenable to be used for user-generated content or url shorteners.
  • Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law is being used to consider the validity of domains, which is unclear and obscure in terms of being able to know what is allowed and what isn’t.
  • NIC.ly have suddenly decided that <4 letter .ly domains should only be available to local Libyans and this appears to create motivation to recover what premium domains they can to go back into this new local-only pot of domains.

via TechCrunch