Link shortening services which use the domain .ly, such as bit.ly, could potentially be under threat from the Libyan authorities.
That’s because .ly is actually the official domain extension for Libya, and the Libyan government has suddenly taken a closer interest in who’s using it.
The vb.ly URL shortening service was tootling along fine as an adult content friendly link shortener which didn’t filter or block any links, until Libya discovered it. The concept, and the main image on the homepage of a bare-armed woman drinking beer was considered offensive and fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia law.
Thus the domain was seized by NIC.ly, the domain registry and monitoring body for the .ly Libyan domain space.
As Ben Metcalfe, Co-Founder of vb.ly, commented on his blog page: “This is deeply concerning for everyone, but especially .ly domain owners, because it sets a precedent that all websites running on a .ly domain must comply with Libyan Islamic/Sharia law in order to maintain their domains.”
Potentially worrying news for the mighty bit.ly.
Back in June, NIC.ly also introduced a change to the regulations whereby short .ly domains of less than four characters are only allowed to be granted to companies or individuals who have a presence in Libya.
It notes that this won’t affect currently registered domains such as bit.ly, which can be renewed normally, although the organisation urges “all clients to renew before the expiry date”.
If you forget, well, you’re pretty much vb.ly’ed.
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