Feeds

This is what is happening to Iraq's Internet domain

ICANN's head reveals all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Analysis With the handover of power in Iraq this week, from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to the Interim Iraqi Government, the issue of the country's Internet has again become a big issue.

Numerous media outlets have stumbled upon the fact that the .iq domain set aside for Iraq does not actually exist on the Internet and its ownership is in limbo. Not only that but the current owners are currently in a US federal jail for aiding a Hamas terrorist and exporting computers to Syria and Libya against the law.

The situation has been further intensified by Dr Siyamend Zaid Othman - the head of Iraq's new National Communications and Media Commission (ICMC), created on 20 April this year by the CPA's Paul Bremer - using his multitude of media connections (he is senior vice-president at United Press International) to stir things up.

"The .iq domain name would allow Iraqis to stake a virtual flag in the worldwide Internet community. It is an important tangible and symbolic milestone for this nation, as well as the freedom and hopes of the Iraqi people," he has been widely quoted as saying.

At the same time, it was also revealed that Paul Bremer had sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) just days before the ICMC was created, requesting that the domain's ownership be handed over to it.

It is over two months later, and nothing has happened, prompting those with a heavy interest in seeing Iraq's Internet at least appear on the Net to use the handover of power to give the issue greater prominence. A variety of ill-informed commentators have waxed lyrical about what could happen, often using the re-delegation of Afghanistan in January 2003 as a post to pin their comments.

Afghanistan's handover was certainly interesting in that the previous owner, who hadn't been seen or heard of since the US started bombing Kabul, suddenly appeared, signed a piece of paper handing over ownership to the US-run interim authority, and then just as quickly disappeared again. Such fortune cannot befall the Iraq domain though as everyone knows exactly where the owner Bayan Elashi resides - federal jail, Dallas, Texas, USA - and he is not exactly likely to agree to hand the domain over.

But all that aside, the man in the street cannot be expected to understand why an entire country's Internet presence is left in the hands of suspected terrorist sympathisers - and does even appear on the Net - when a recognised Iraqi media commission has requested its ownership. But, as with everything in Iraq, the reality is far, far more complex.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.