Ten tiny places that have their own domain names

Heard and McDonald Islands: no one lives there but they still have a domain name.

Heard and McDonald Islands: no one lives there but they still have a domain name.  

Claiming to be a country is not an easy task. Aspiring states need favours from great powers, or >sometimes even celebrities, to establish their legitimacy. In the digital age, this starts with wanting a top-level domain name, such as the “.in” suffix for India.

The Scottish National Party launched a campaign in 2008 to get Scotland its own top-level domain name. After five years, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a consortium that controls these suffixes, >agreed to setup the “.scot” suffix.

As Nina Caspersen, who studies the politics of unrecognised states at the University of York, >wrote on The Conversation this week, states such as Somaliland and Transnistria start by setting up websites where they claim to be “independent and democratic”. However, with websites ending in “ >.com” or “ >.org”, respectively, their claims look weak.

These countries would have had better luck had they been dependent regions to start with, because ICANN assigns domain names to dependent regions if they apply. That is why, although there are the 206 sovereign states (of which 11 are not recognised by the United Nations), there are >255 country-code domain names.

This can go too far. For example, Heard and McDonald Islands, a dependency of Australia in the Indian Ocean, has its own top-level domain name, “.hm”, even though its population is zero, and its >official website uses Antarctica’s top-level domain name, “.aq”. And it’s not alone.

Here is a list of the ten least populated regions with their own top-level domain name:

The Conversation

This article was originally published at >The Conversation. Read the >original article (with map)

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 5:36:45 AM |

Next Story