GreenNet aims to deliver our services impartially, but we strongly disapprove of using .io domain.

Why? Because of the Chagossians, if you didnt know the story then you should.

UK threw them off their Indian Ocean archipelago almost 50 years ago, and has rented it to the US for the notorious Diego Garcia air base cum military-industrial holiday camp cum black site, effectively off limits to civilians, unless you happen to be lucky enough to be cruising around the neighbourhood in your yacht https://biot.gov.io/visiting/

In addition to regular disappearances of local fishermen, a recent article exposed the dodgy labour practices that UK and US governments facilitate in the off-shore, extra-legal (meaning above the law, not double helpings!) enclave https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2017/03/14/inside-diego-garcia-americas-highly-secretive-military-base/.

The story of how the .io domain works has been exposed partially here: https://gigaom.com/2014/06/30/the-dark-side-of-io-how-the-u-k-is-making-web-domain-profits-from-a-shady-cold-war-land-deal/

There is a shadowy ownership "arrangement" which lacks transparency on key financial questions. What is clear is that there is no benefit to the Chagossians themselves.

So what can you do?

It seems that Paul, the owner of ICB, who run registration of the domain is an alright bloke - he must be or how could he have been entrusted with one of the "keys to teh internet"? Him and his companies are quite reticent and shy of publicity outside of tech circles. So we can only assume that he's not really aware of how he could be contributing to the continuing ethnic cleansing of these beautiful tropical islands. Perhaps we can help him to work it out and do the right thing.

http://www.thedarksideof.io/ have campaigned successfully to make tech companies (mostly in US) aware of the issue, and some have contributed to help the Chagos islander's campaign

  • You should challenge anyone using .io to contribute to the Chagosians' legal or welfare fund, publicly https://www.chagossupport.org.uk/ and show support (and tell us about it in the comments below)
  • We think that you could also dig up more info about how the control of the domain was allocated., who benefits financially, and how to transfer it to the islander. That could be FoI requests to the British government, or following up with ICANN or IGF or other internet governance organisations.
  • If you're feeling creative and like puns, how about doing some crowdfunding using solidarity domain hacks? pleaseletuscomehome.io,

image credit

Comments

.io registrars continue to be administered in the most shady way.

Paul Kane, the internet colonialist who acquired rights to run the domains somehow, suggested that as long as the service was operated competently, it would stay with ICB, his business. Both the UK government and ICB deny making any money from this cosy arrangement, indeed the UK government defied parliamentary questions and freedom of information requests to ensure that where the enormous sums charged for registration fees go is kept secret.
In 2017 a random guy managed to hijack the domain's infrastructure - exploiting a vulnerability that exposed failures to manage the service at the most basic level.
Now it appears that Kane has sold ICB and the .io registry to Afilias, for $70million.
It's appalling that these dodgy deals have been taking place under the protection of the UK government, while it has been fighting the Chagossians campaign to be allowed to return.
Paul and Fiona Kane have resigned as directors of ICB, and UK has been officially kicked off the islands by the UN and International Court of Justice, but it still seems highly unlikely that any of that cash will find it's way to the Chagos islanders, meanwhile Paul presumably continues to swan around the globe amongst the elite bigwigs of the internet governance community. $70million trousered and trebles all around!

It's disgraceful that a public resource run by the UK is dealt with in this underhand way, but sadly typical, given the awful treatment of the islands and islanders since the British got their hands on them.

This commenter from the Register neatly summarises and provides links.

"Somewhat unusually, .IO TLD decided it wanted to continue to run the .IO name servers, but outsourced the rest of the registry operations to Afilias."

*** WE NOW KNOW THIS IS NOT TRUE ***

Afilias bought outright the operator "Internet Computer Bureau Limited" (aka "ICB"), which is also has the alias "IO Top Level Domain Registry", which is the "ccTLD Manager" - i.e. they bought dot-IO and all its control - lock, stock & barrel.

http://domainincite.com/23650-afilias-bought-io-for-70-million

https://www.nic.io/terms.htm

https://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/io.html

But they didn't pass it by ICANN - naughty, naughty - A change of ccTLD Manager needs ICANN approval.

So those poor Chagossians got ripped off to the tune of $70M - as dot-TV will tell you, a good ccTLD can go a long way to fund a traditional island heritage.

So who did get the $70M ... well checkout who resigned their directorship at about the same time the company changed hands https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03226374/officers

And what did the UK Gov know about all this ... they're keeping quiet, but then they just lost at the UN https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/25/un-court-rejects-uk-claim-to-sovereignty-over-chagos-islands

What a mess - time to call time on colonialism, eh?

 

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