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Ask Slashdot: Best ccTLD To Avoid Confiscation? 241

Posted by timothy
from the go-sealand dept.
First time accepted submitter Pete McCann writes "Given the recent spate of domain seizures by the U.S. government, it seems that registrations in any U.S.-hosted registry (like the gTLDs .com, .net, and .org) aren't stable places to put content that the U.S. government might find objectionable. I am wondering, are there any ccTLD registries out there that have an open registration policy and are willing to stand up to censorship demands from the USG? There is this list of ccTLDs with open registration policies, and the current MAFIAAFIRE redirection list looks very Tuvalu-heavy. Where would you register a site for maximum resistance to confiscation?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best ccTLD To Avoid Confiscation?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    .onion

  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Thursday September 22, 2011 @11:48AM (#37480776) Homepage

    The best TLD out there, and the only one that you can be sure you will not be taken down from.

    Overall...the only way to really avoid it is to avoid central registrars that are beholden to their political masters.

    • .onion +1

      Other than that, domains in alternate TLDs registered with OpenNIC.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        OH I get that, its just, I have no faith in any system that isn't well protected from it's association with a physical location in terms of being beyond the reach of major national governments, and particularly that of the Team America Police Force (fuck yeah!). If they want to get to your registrar bad enough, they will find a way. Best to trust a registrar that can't be bought and doesn't exist in only one place.

        I, personally, favor abandoning traditional DNS in favor of alternatives like the .onion or, w

      • .onion is the most resilient but probably the least convenient. If it's for l33t haxx0r stuff then have at it - in fact I'd recommend hosting the site through an .onion and using a "mainstream" domain as a proxy to it (like your own personal tor2web) if you're worried about it being taken down, in any case, and it gives you a ready-made emergency failover solution.

        The .cn domains actually seem to be pretty resilient, I think that was Wikileaks' only domain that was never taken offline.

  • Does not matter (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @11:54AM (#37480876)
    My understanding is that the domain seizure by the U.S. government works by requiring DNS servers to resolve the domain name to a government IP address in cases where the domain is registered/hosted outside the U.S.. I really don't think it makes much difference what tld you use.
    • Re:Does not matter (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:06PM (#37481042)

      This is not quite correct. The US Govt. would require the AUTHORITATIVE name server to redirect, which is why the usual .com, .net etc are vulnerable. By switching your TLD to .tv for example, your authoritative name server is outside of US jurisdiction.

      Link to a brief but informative DNS primer: http://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/support/dns_history.html

  • If the server is on US Soil, can't they just confiscate the rack or demand that the data center remove the site?

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      And what if the server isn't on US soil?

      But let's say it is.

      Confiscating a rack actually requires effort, manpower, expense. If a few guys have to go over to the data center, there is a reasonable chance that at least somebody might stop and check to see that what they're doing makes sense. ("Hey guys, this piece of paper says whitehouse.com; I'm not sure we should be pulling the plug on this computer that has a posit note on it, saying whitehouse.gov.") There will be witnesses at the data center. There

      • by sohmc (595388)

        I guess that does make the difference: physical manpower and cost verses a computer button.

        It's the same argument I here for allowing the police to put a GPS device in your car. Yeah, they could spend the manpower to follow your car but they make it cheaper by just putting the GPS device on your car.

        I've seen various jurisdictions on both sides of the fence. At some point, we as a people are going to be okay with zero privacy. I hope this point is after I'm dead.

    • by jtara (133429)

      Confiscating the rack doesn't make the site go away. You could just set up shop at another hosting provider. They have to confiscate the domain to make sure the site doesn't pop back up. So, the only way it can pop back up is on a different domain name or with just an IP address. Either way, it will be difficult for people to find the replacement.

  • well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday September 22, 2011 @11:57AM (#37480920) Homepage Journal

    I started being partial to .cx soon after starting to read slashdot. No idea why...
  • by gellenburg (61212) <george@ellenburg.org> on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:03PM (#37480994) Homepage Journal

    .I2P

    http://www.i2p2.de/ [i2p2.de]

  • by seanmcelroy (207852) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:04PM (#37481010) Homepage Journal

    How about just create domain names using letters A through F and get creative with IPv6 hexadecimal abbreviated addresses. ;)

    No DNS to legally hijack, as long as you can reasonably hold the IP address and scale solely through anycasting.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:19PM (#37481220)

    In the long run, .cn seems to be the only one that won't bow down quickly to US demands.

    It's kinda hard to stand up against the schoolyard bully if everyone's sucking up to him so they don't get beaten.

    • by nullchar (446050)

      But then you're at the whim of The People's Republic. Even Go Daddy is no longer a registrar [wired.com] for .cn domains after last December's registry rule change (which caught all registrars by surprise).

    • It's kinda hard to stand up against the schoolyard bully if everyone's sucking up to him so they don't get beaten.

      So your solution is to go suck up to the competing runner-up schoolyard bully?

  • by nnet (20306) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:20PM (#37481238) Homepage Journal
    What content are you going to offer that you feel may be subject to American censorship?
    • Re:content (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:29PM (#37481350)

      that's not the question.

      ANYTHING can be viewed as a take-down 'reason'. haven't you been paying attention to how foul our laws have gone?

      what's safe today may not be safe tomorrow. its wise to assume the US is hostile to free and open internet communication. essentially, this is the root of the problem and we have lost our trust from the world by our own bad behavior. I LIVE HERE and I don't trust us, fwiw.

    • by DrVxD (184537)

      The truth?

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:21PM (#37481250) Homepage

    Okay, for starters you say you're worried about the U.S. gov't seizing your domain, but then you go and mention the MAFIAAFIRE list. Okay, so you want to run a torrent tracker... big surprise.

    I see an inherent problem with CCTLDs: you may expect the ones from obscure nations to be "safer", because, well, they're obscure and that government might not give two shits about U.S. laws. But then on the converse, they may give a shit about U.S. money. The poor nations love bribery just as much as the militarized corporatocracy some 300 million people call "home".

    The only real way to dodge the MAFIAA is thus:

    1. destroy the MAFIAA

    No, really. You either take the risk, and best case some ungrateful leech stools your site to the authorities and you lose your domain, worst case you get sued for six quadrillion dollars. The only other option is to launch World War 3, win, become supreme leader of earth, have every last motherfuckin' corporate robber baron drawn and quartered, and then you're pretty much free to post whatever the hell you want on (what's left of) the internet.

    • And .cn all ready has more USD than it realy wants. Right now it's your best bet for not caring what the US wants.

      • And .cn all ready has more USD than it realy wants. Right now it's your best bet for not caring what the US wants.

        And then the only thing you have to worry about is what .cn wants! A mere humble requirement of photo ID, address, bank account numbers and a pledge of eternal obedience(1) of everyone who wants a .cn domain...

        (1) so far only they got as far as photo ID and address (which caused nearly all non-Chinese registrars to stop selling .cn domains) but the hour is young yet.

  • Just use NameCoin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:29PM (#37481346)
    NameCoin [dot-bit.org] is a non-centralized, peer-to-peer DNS using the .bit TLD. It cannot be confiscated unless the entire p2p DNS network is shut down.
    • by eht (8912)

      Huh, when I go to dot-bit.bit I get server not found, just like the more than 99% of the population that won't be manually adding the dot-bit nameservers to their DNS. If this was the answer, he would just run his own home DNS and tell everyone wanting info from him to add that.

  • by nullchar (446050) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:46PM (#37481542)

    I would not recommend .tv as VeriSign is the registry operator and they would be happy to disable your domain name, just like .com/.net.

    Tonga is another tiny island nation - .to - but the registry has a web portal for direct registration (so you don't have to use a registrar which may bow to pressure) and they have a very private WHOIS policy. Almost no details can be gleaned from putting accurate information as the registrant contact.

    I would recommend any ccTLD that allows direct registration through an HTTPS session. Avoid the registrar middlemen for ultimate control over your domain. However, you will be responsible for manually renewing your domain! And be sure to read the registry's fine print for how they may revoke a domain. Ensure the contact data is accurate so you can get any email / snail mail correspondence. This will help you defend your domain in case of a dispute, and help prevent against unauthorized transfers of the domain. Make sure the email account on record is not easily hijacked.

  • Does OpenDNS need to obey government seizure demands, or can they list whomever they want directed to whatever IP address they feel is correct?
  • no domain (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @01:03PM (#37481726) Homepage Journal

    Why bother with a domain name at all? Just use an IP address. Yes, unglamorous and looks uncredible, but it will stay up, right?

    • by Skapare (16644)

      And go for IPv6 addresses. The MAFIAA probably doesn't even know what IPv6 is, yet.

    • I have one static/unshared IP at my ISP for this reason. I can serve content from it no matter what. They have a TOS, and they enforce it. I will play by those rules (no CP, no spam, that kind of stuff). But no one will take that server off-line. of course I don't really get all that much unsolicited traffic (which is fine by me), and I think Google severely demotes pagerank if you have no DNS entry.

  • Try theft, larceny, deprivation, mugging, etc.

  • I recommend .info, .me, and .ph

    http://icefilms.info/ [icefilms.info] have been around several years now and moved to .info and are hosted in amsterdam I believe.

    http://kat.ph/ [kat.ph] kickasstorrents changed to .ph to avoid domain confiscation

    http://demonoid.me/ [demonoid.me] Demonoid moved to .me to also avoid domain confiscation as the .ph and .me ignore US requests

    You will also have to check into hosting that ignores DMCA requests which are plenty, check Amsterdam hosting sites

    http://www.dot.ph/ [www.dot.ph] for registering .ph domains

    http: [domain.me]

  • by mordur (1321893) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @09:12PM (#37486944)

    The .is ccTLD has consistently rated as one of the best run ccTLDs out there. In this piece of news item on the ISNIC web site:

    https://www.isnic.is/en/news/view?id=203 [isnic.is]

    That basically says that they will take down domains only if one of three conditions is met:
    1. Non payment of registration fees
    2. If the whois records and registration information is incorrect (the are very strict about the technical setup of domains in whois and dns)
    3. If the cops show up with a court order (has never happened in 25 years of the ccTLD
    Also, let's not forget this:

    http://immi.is/ [immi.is]

    The Icelanders are going to make their country a safe haven for freedom of expression and the press, so the legal framework will be there for this tld to be the safest in the foreseeable future.

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