To seek its rights, territories in the region have lodged a complaint against the United Kingdom, specifying that the suspension of the domain violated said rights. While the ‘.io’ domain originally belongs to Indian Ocean territories, a UK-registered company by the name of Internet Computer Bureau (ICB) snatched it up on a sale back in the 1990s.
Now, the UK government receives revenue from any ‘.io’ sales that the ICB registers, and there are plenty of sales to gain from. In the gambling context, .io is the hottest domain to use if you are into the crypto or blockchain business, while it should be noted that various scam sites have been registered to the same domain.
The complaint, which has been filed specifically by former residents of the Chagos Archipelago, stated a strong case as to why the asset mattered to their country:
“The ccTLD .IO rights are a valuable property and generate millions of dollars in fees for ICB annually. The 1997 contract or agreement grants ICB exclusive rights to exploit this asset in the same way colonial powers have delegated exclusive rights in Africa to private companies to act on behalf of the colonizer. ICB therefore is the Occupying Power’s agent and acts in its stead in the matter of ccTLD .IO.”
The complaint explained that thanks to the ‘.io’ extension, businesses were able to generate “vast sums of unregulated and untaxed revenue” every day. While there is a merit in clarifying regulation and tax rule, most trusted gambling companies using an ‘.io’ domain, such as TrueFlip, BitCasino and CasinoFair have all committed to providing transparent gaming opportunities which stand up to scrutiny.
At least the residents of the Indian Ocena can rest assured that the domains are fair. Nevertheless, they may have a reasonable case when it comes to reclaiming it.