The Libyan War Derails, Will More .ly Startups Be Threatened?

libya ak, a startup that helps set up and manage paid email newsletters, had its service briefly shut down by the Libyan war and has had to move its service to the domain

Plenty of startups have chosen .ly domain names as a cutesy alternative to .com, but .ly is the domain extension for Libya, which is under a civil war, NATO-led airstrikes, and a crazy, repressive regime.

In a letter to its customers, says that the agency through which it has registered the domain name was taken down by the Libyan war, though it’s unclear how. They were unable to re-register the domain name.

One of the most visible .ly startups is, through which many if not most of the links shared on Twitter, transit. In an answer on Quora, CEO John Borthwick wrote that there’s no way the Libyan situation could affect them because three out of five servers used to manage .ly domains are outside Libya and all five would have to be shut down. So far seems to be unaffected.

Back in October, the Libyan government shut down another link shortener,, because it had links to porn. So clearly it’s possible for .ly links to be affected by events in Libya.

Here’s a screenshot of the letter, via Chris Dixon on Twitter:

letterly libya screenshot

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