No, Libya's Internet Shutdown Won't Kill

Libya Protest

Photo: AP

Libya’s blocking of the internet won’t affect and other .ly domains, says CEO John Borthwick on and countless other startups have chosen the cute top-level domain .ly for their startups. The only problem is that .ly is Libya’s top-level domain. Libya happens to be ruled by a crazy dictator, and right now is experiencing protests that are making it shut down the internet. Doesn’t that mean is in trouble?

While .ly belongs to Libya, of the five “root servers” that make the domain work only two are in Libya, and all five need to be shut down for .ly URLs to stop working. Two servers are in the US and one is in the Netherlands.

While the protests and the internet shutdown might not affect, it’s still a huge strategic risk to rely on Libya, of all places, for internet domains. Libya’s Muammar Ghaddafi isn’t just a dictator, he’s a notoriously mentally unstable and unpredictable dictator, and Libya has already shut down one domain,, over links to erotic content.

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