Libya, The Internet, and bit.ly

Worries that Libyan dictator  Muammar Gaddafi will shut down Internet access to stymie protesters apparently has some Americans concerned about the URL-shortner bit.ly, since the .ly domain is Libya’s. This is of particular concern since bit.ly is the default shortener for those of us who use Twitter.

Bit.ly CEO John Borthwick says not to worry:

Should Libya block Internet traffic, as Egypt did, it will not effect http://bit.ly or any .ly domain.

For .ly domains to be unresolvable the five .ly root servers that are authoritative *all* have to be offline, or responding with empty responses. Of the five root nameservers for the .ly TLD: two are based in Oregon, one is in the Netherlands and two are in Libya.

At http://bit.ly will continue to do everything we can to ensure we offer our users the best service we possibly can. That includes offering options around which top level domain you use. Many users choose to use http://j.mp/ as an alternative to http://bit.ly, given that it is shorter. Moreover, any http://bit.ly link can be re-written as a j.mp link by simply replacing the domain.

So there you have it.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Boyd says:

    I have always thought it odd that Twitterers (well, you’re the only one I follow on Twitter who uses bit.ly, James, since I only follow a handful of folks) use a Libyan-coded domain for this purpose. Not that I particularly object to anyone using it, mind you, but I probably wouldn’t use it myself. Of course, I only tweet about once a year anyway.

    Plus, I’m waaaaaaay too long-winded for tweeting.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Bit.ly is the default in Twitter at TweetDeck, although there are other options. I actually never thought of it as a Libyan domain, in that the country codes are largely ignored and most of them are used for niche, non-country-related, purposes.

  3. Boyd says:

    I guess as a Middle East specialist during my Navy days, it leapt out at me as the Libyan TLD from the first time I saw it.

  4. Mashhood says:

    Nobody can block internet…. Coz therz no point in doin so…