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The Internet

See Ya .su 219

Sarkastro writes "Wired has this story on the pending death of the .su domain. Since the Soviet Union broke up a decade ago, all of the former members now have their own ccTLDs. Now, some people are ready to see .su be put to rest, including ICANN who is quite firm in their stance. Others within the former Soviet Union would like to see it stick around as a geopgraphical area domain. Currently, .su domains cost $15,000 (.ru cost less than $30), so there are only about 28,000 registered. It's especially interesting to watch how the Internet reacts to geographical boundaries that no longer exist. It's easy to add a ccTLD, but much much harder to remove one."
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See Ya .su

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  • by odt ( 148500 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @05:39AM (#4489044)
    is that really $ or rubles?
  • .ux (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Im suprised .ux is not a tld www.lin.ux www.tu.x www.s.ux www.hp.ux
  • What justification do they have for that exorbitant price tag?
  • by TheDanish ( 576008 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @05:53AM (#4489074) Journal
    In a bid to protect new domains from cybersquatters, the FID set a $15,000 price tag on registering a dot-su domain.

    If you're a cybersquatter such as Microsoft or PETA, price isn't a problem, now is it?

    Now, there's the matter of actually wanting a domain like that. I don't even think either of them are capable of such wasteful spending... then again...

    Okay, I'm going to sleep. Having no sleep is hazardous to your health, and causes you to make posts like this one.
  • not $15,000 (Score:3, Informative)

    by quaeler ( 523627 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @05:58AM (#4489080)
    it's $1,000: http://www.nic.ru/en/index.html [www.nic.ru]
  • What is the cheapest domain name to get? has there been a third world country yet who has decided to sell domain names for $5 a year? I think that could create some serious money..

    Nico
  • Sounds like a scam (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greenrom ( 576281 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:02AM (#4489085)
    $15,000 is a big chunk of change just for adding an entry to a database. That makes me wonder who's pockets that $15,000 was lining. It doesn't cost $15,000 per registrant to maintain a few servers. It would be interesting to know if anyone is going to see a partial refund of their money when the domain is taken away.

    I'd be pretty pissed if someone took away my $20 domain. I can't imagine what I'd do if someone took away a domain I just paid 15 grand for just because a few people in ICANN think .su should be obsolete.

  • by freewilli ( 267048 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:03AM (#4489086) Homepage Journal
    Ju-jit.su
    diahat.su
    goat.su
    stfu.su
    my-betty.s u
    15000-is-way-too-much-for.su

    ugh.. need sleep
  • by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:05AM (#4489092)
    Given that top level domains are so hard to remove, this system seems kind of broken.

    Many countries are going to change their names in the future. The article doesn't really go into it, but I'm sure the name has some political overtones for many people in Russia. Some other names with political ramifications are .tw (taiwan) .cs (Czechoslovakia) .kp and .kr (Koreas) etc.

    Maybe we should move to something more flexible.

    • how about unicode arbitrary case insensitive strings being valid domain names. i mean why exactly do we need the damn dots. why can't my website be http://davesag [davesag.com] and aliased as http://dave sag [davesag.com].

      cheers

      dave

    • by Anonymous Coward
      why not get ride of country specific domains and just have more divisions at the next level??
    • Many countries are going to change their names in the future. The article doesn't really go into it, but I'm sure the name has some political overtones for many people in Russia. Some other names with political ramifications are .tw (taiwan) .cs (Czechoslovakia) .kp and .kr (Koreas) etc.

      There is also Hong Kong and Yugoslavia which still have top level domains. There is also the issue of what to do about occupied countries, especially where the occupier claims them as part of their own, e.g. Chechnia, Tibet, Hawaii and Palestine.
      • Hawaii? (Score:2, Informative)

        by jdmoline ( 81457 )
        How can you possibly include Hawaii in your list of occupied countries? Hawaii became a U.S. state in 1959. The citizens of Hawaii are fully represented in the U.S. government. With 4 electoral votes, they have more representation than Alaska, Deleware, D.C., Montana, North & South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Hawaii is not an occupied country.
        • How can you possibly include Hawaii in your list of occupied countries? Hawaii became a U.S. state in 1959.

          When a choice was given between becomming a state and remaining a US territory. Either way control would remain with the Washington government thousands of miles away.

          The citizens of Hawaii are fully represented in the U.S. government. With 4 electoral votes, they have more representation than Alaska, Deleware, D.C., Montana, North & South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

          How many of these examples are of independent and internationally recognised (including by the USA, which formally recognised the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1826) nation states, which the US occupied as a colonial power in the process supressing the existing government (in violation of the Hague convention of 1907, BTW)? The answer is zero.
          As for the 1959 vote this was supposedly held under article 73 of the UN charter. Problem is that this would have required 3 options, to remain a territory, to become part of the trustee country or to become independent. There are problems even here, since the US had placed Hawaii on a list of non self-governing territories, amongst US administered territories which had never been the entirity of a nation state.
          A more valid historical comparison would be with cold war Easten europe, the only one which comes to mind involving a non land border is the British occupation of Ireland.
          1959 isn't the latest in the story from the US Government side anyway. In 1988 the DOJ concluded that the US had no authority to annex Hawaii by joint resolution of Congress. On November 23, 1993, President Clinton signed United States Public Law 103-150, which amongst other things, acknowlages that sovereignty of Hawaii was never surrendered, to the US or any other nation.
          In 1999 the UN confirmed that the 1959 vote as non binding, since it violated article 73.
    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @10:39AM (#4489609) Journal
      Oh, brother.

      This isn't just *DNS*, it's the standardized ISO country code system. It's always hard to change, it doesn't change easily, etc.

      You want some good reasons to use the current system? Okay, let's go.

      A) Politics. Not just a joke any more. A lot of "countries" want legitimacy (or to remove legitimacy) by getting a TLD, and political pressure has been placed on ICANN before. ICANN solved this by passing the buck onto ISO, and saying that they don't deal with political problems -- that they use only ISO country codes for regions. Unless you want Israel or Palestine bombing ICANN members, this is worth considering.

      B) Stability. A naming system that fluxes constantly is *much* less useful. The idea is that IPs can change, the underlying network can move around, but names stay the same. If you move to *anything* that's easier to change, you reduce the usefulness of the naming system to end users.

      C) Inherent data within the naming system. With a few annoying exceptions, you can tell where something is based just by glancing at its domain name. Now, before people start on the usual 'Net dogma "the Internet erases all boundaries and obsoletes nationalities", let me point out that we still happen to exist in the real world as well, for the time being. There's a fairly useful correlation between country name and physical distance (esp. since most educated people can tell roughly how far it is from their country to another). Unless network technology gets drastically different, this has a pretty major relationship to latency, bandwidth, *and* network cost (i.e. you're supposed to use mirrors within your own country, and it's pretty easy to tell where they are if you just glance at the TLD on the mirrors). Second, like it or not, different countries have different laws and censorship rules as relate to the Internet. If I can easily tell that a site is in China, I can figure out whether the government's likely to have sanitized the information on it.

      D) It's *a* clear solution. The good thing about the current system is that there aren't quibbles. "Well, *maybe* ISO really meant *this* when they assigned the country codes" doesn't come up. If people start trying to build a .xxx TLD and then make international agreements to force porn to be in .xxx, there's going to be more classification arguments than we can possibly imagine.

      E) Trademark issues. There's a fairly clear (and, I think, reasonable) advantage to Microsoft in not letting Apple grab "microsoft.com" and redirect it to a fake site that gives people a bad impression of Microsoft. Countries already have their own trademark rules and registries set up, with a legal system in place to avoid conflicts. If you register things in .co.uk, you don't have to worry about trademark conflicts, because the country already has an excellent, dispute-resolved database to work from, and simply applies that system to their name granting system.

      F) Potential for an alternative. DNS isn't bound into the Internet at an architectural level, though it is quite popular. It's quite replaceable by people that want to set up their own system. If you want a non-hierarchical system, without domains (i.e. keywords), *go* for it. Set up a couple of servers, a registrar, hand out patches for Mozilla and IE, and you're good to go. Just don't try to turn the *Domain* Name System into your *Keyword* Name System. If someone wanted to set up a naming system based on GPS coordinates, they could do it if they wanted to.
      • " With a few annoying exceptions, you can tell where something is based just by glancing at its domain name."

        Some examples of the exceptions:
        - That whole "dot tv" bullshit. I'd say atleast half of the people with .tv dont even know where tuvalu is.
        - .tk's are free for anyone, anywhere, again.. and i doubt their users can even pronounce Tokelau (note: to save you all some time, they only give redirects, its not that great.)

        - and most other domains also let you register without actually being there or in any way being related to that location. see irc server in my username/sig.
  • by Quietti ( 257725 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:05AM (#4489094) Journal

    I thought this was obvious? ;-)

  • Pangea (Score:5, Funny)

    by notestein ( 445412 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:07AM (#4489098) Homepage Journal
    If they succeed in keeping .ru, I'd like to get the .we ccTLD for Pangea (for Whole Earth). It broke up a lot longer ago than the Soviet Union.
  • Insane Price (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bellings ( 137948 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:09AM (#4489100)
    Currently, .su domains cost $15,000 (.ru cost less than $30), so there are only about 28,000 registered.

    That sentence is simply insane. $15,000 dollars per domain times 28,000 domains is nearly a half billion dollars. I simply can't imagine anyone buying even one of the oh-so-valuable .su domains for $15,000, much less any economy absorbing a half billion dollars worth of them.

    What is the real story on the price? How much have most people really paid for their .su domains, and who got all the cash?
    • by notestein ( 445412 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:13AM (#4489118) Homepage Journal
      The 15k was just for public consumption and to make them look better than the .us domain.

      Like every thing with the former Soviet Union and Socialist economics in general... You just had to bribe the .ru database administrator with a loaf of bread, a roll or toilet paper, or bottle of vodka to get an .ru domain.

    • Currently, .su domains cost $15,000 (.ru cost less than $30), so there are only about 28,000 registered.


      That sentence is simply insane. $15,000 dollars per domain times 28,000 domains is nearly a half billion dollars. I simply can't imagine anyone buying even one of the oh-so-valuable .su domains for $15,000, much less any economy absorbing a half billion dollars worth of them.

      Remember.... this is $15,000 PER YEAR
  • stable URLs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by captaineo ( 87164 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:15AM (#4489125)
    I thought URLs were supposed to be permanently stable! Shutting down a TLD does not exactly help this out...

    I admit I've broken a couple minor links on my own sites, but I do try very very hard to keep old URLs working...
    • So were world-superpowers.

      The internet can't remain "stable," expecially in such a changing world. It's got to evolve with the times.
      • So what?

        If I pick up a 20-year-old book that has a .su address in it (not likely, I grant you, but work with me here), there should be no reason that it cannot still work, if the domain owner cares to keep it alive.

  • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:16AM (#4489127)
    If they decide to take away .su, you could always sue. http://www.lawyers.su ;)
  • Assign them to Teacher's Pets, high ranking corporate and political subordinates, Slashdot Karma Whores, and other such people. Reason?

    .s(uck)u(p)
  • .eu (Score:3, Insightful)

    by danny ( 2658 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:44AM (#4489171) Homepage
    Doesn't the European Union want a .eu domain? Surely ICANN can't allow that and at the same time nix maintaining .su...

    Danny.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:45AM (#4489175)

    The pending death ( or not ) of the .su domain is yet anothe demonstration of the stupidity of ICANN.

    The best policy is to let it stay around. And to add more TLDs to the list. If they need rules, they could have two letters for countries and geographic areas. Three letters ( or more ) for anything else.

    All ICANN should do, is set the technical standards for setting up a TLD, and then letting anybody who meets them, setup the TLD, and maintain the root servers for that TLD. It just might mean that domain names are meaningful --- especially if the TLD granter enforces the naming policies of that TDL. [ .org would only be for non-profit organizations, as one example. ]

    The register of the .su TLD does have one thing more or less right --- only trademarks can be registered. [ I think it should also allow the name of the organization, or its initials. Granted, that will eliminate personal webpages with a domain of their own. ( free.tibet [www.free.tibet]comes to mind. ( and yes that is the correct URL for that page. ) ) Allowing cities or states as the second level should also be permissible. I'm not sure I want things the way the .us domain was originally setup yourname.yourcity.yourstate.us, but it has some advantages. http://www.symphony.seattle.wa.us is a lot easier to remember than whatever the Seattle Symphony uses for their website. http://symphony.renton.wa.us is much easier to remember than whatever they use --- which isn't listed on google either. :-(

    • Bad example (Score:2, Insightful)

      by njchick ( 611256 )
      http://www.symphony.seattle.wa.us is a lot easier to remember than whatever the Seattle Symphony uses for their website.
      People outside the US would have a problem remembering the "wa" part.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 20, 2002 @06:56AM (#4489197)
    True that .su doesn't have many known web sited. The problem is that ons of working e-mail addresses will be doomed. E.g. my father has an e-mail which has not changed as of 1994. Hundreds, if not thousands of people know it and there's no way to track whom to notify of change. For him, removing .su woud be a DISASTER. Hope it will never happen
    • I guess he should notify everybody first, or the system could set a simple auto-reply in the order of "This still works, but only for a little more while.". A simple change would be to change the ".su" part of the email to ".(whatever country your father currently resides in now)", assuming his e-mail buddies know in which country he actually lives. But no one has money to do that I guess.

      So he got the email address two years after the USSR fell? Makes sense, I doubt the Communist Party would have wanted its citizens to be able to talk using an uncensored western communication medium [tuxedo.org]. I wonder what was the rationale behind creating a .su domain at all?

      And why .su? .ussr or .cccp would be a lot damn cooler, IMO. :)
  • .net.uk (Score:3, Informative)

    by FTL ( 112112 ) <slashdot.neil@fraser@name> on Sunday October 20, 2002 @07:01AM (#4489204) Homepage
    There is also a plan afoot to drop the .net.uk second level domain by Christmas [theregister.co.uk]. Strong objections [alex.org.uk] have been raised, but Nominet may not listen. It is scary to think that one's online identity (be it .su or .net.uk or something else) could be pulled out from under you. IMHO, if upper-level domains are to be scrapped, the existing ones should be grandfathered.
  • How about this? (Score:2, Insightful)

    What's wrong with both Geographical and national cc's? Geek thinking tends to try to make it all "make sense" by conforming to a pattern or rule, but why? It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to work.
  • And then.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Konster ( 252488 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @07:32AM (#4489245)
    My name is Yuri.

    I ams Top Level Directorate of .su domains here in the ligoroursly disposed U.S.S.R as yous in West part like to say, it is C.C.R.

    Asks us and thinks us we are bad yet unrepentant Political Party in Russia that gathers steams in large bushels.

    We are Voice of The Peoples.

    To say that we have no longer a voices in top leveled domains is propaganda. We are the largest party of politics in Russia. Powerful and forceful. With clouts. We have!

    We be shall returning to the International Arena with forces and large clout given to us by the Land of The Mother.

    By Stalin! We shall retake Leningrad and .su!

    All U R Ship R Belong to Us.
    • Well tovarish, your talk sounds good for a trotskist agent of the dirty, shadowy voices of Imperialism and Capitalism. However, your voice reflects you capitalist grounds.

      It is not Top Level Directorate but High Commissariate, Central Commitee, and Higher Congress. You forgot one C in CCCP (Soyuz Sovetskikh Socialistichekikh Respublik). It is not the "we are Voice of The Peoples" but we are "The People". On what concerns "largest party of politics", do you really think that we all speak English so badly? It's "largest political party".

      And now sorry for the english speaking fellows but this guy tried to play so well on grumbling its Engrus that he made a very silly mistake. So directly to him:

      Vy ponyali shto napisali po angliiskii? Materniui Zemlyu!.. Rodina-Mat budet "Motherland" mat vashu.
    • ... And All Your Base Are Belong To Us.
  • by mejh ( 564536 )
    It's easy to add a ccTLD, but much much harder to remove one.

    How about:

    # su -
    # rm ccTLD/.su

    ;-)
  • that, once reunited, the Soviet Union might hire a bunch of lawyers and su ? ;)
  • Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Whispers_in_the_dark ( 560817 ) <rich.harkins@gma ... minus physicist> on Sunday October 20, 2002 @07:55AM (#4489271)
    Is there some other entity *wanting* the .su top-level particularly badly (I didn't see anything in the article telling me one way or the other)?

    They should stop allowing new registrations within .su and raise the maintainence fees accordingly so that it dies out naturally. When it reaches zero domains (or close enough to zero for government work) nix the top-level domain. ICANN gets money, the die-hards get continued use of the domain. Problem solved right?
  • Last Chance (Score:3, Informative)

    by Psychic Burrito ( 611532 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @09:14AM (#4489394)
    In case you've never been on a .su website, here's your last chance:

    The 156'000 webpages that still use .su [google.com]
    Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) Home Page [www.ihep.su]
    SunSITE Russia [cs.msu.su]
    Omsk-On-Line Welcome [univer.omsk.su]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 20, 2002 @09:16AM (#4489399)
    comrades must watch the Soviet domain fall once more
  • 1) we don't want to break old links
    2) we want to stop new registrars
    3) we (well, ICANN) want to maintain a manageable set of TLDs

    So,

    anything.su should change to anything.su.old

    Same for anything.else.cz, etc.

    And you don't let people register tnew .old domains (that would be daft). It makes the point, and auto-redirect at browser/proxy level would be easy.
  • Phasing out? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anarchima ( 585853 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @10:52AM (#4489635) Homepage
    Why can't they just phase it? They can stop registration now (at outrageous prices I might add) and wait for the websites using these domain endings to die out...Seems the most logical, as just abruptly halting the domain-name will put these 28,000 sites out of business.
  • Hard to remove? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Yenya ( 12004 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @11:26AM (#4489754) Homepage Journal
    It's easy to add a ccTLD, but much much harder to remove one."

    It was relatively easy to remove the .cs TLD when the former Czechoslovakia was split to the Czech Republic (.cz TLD) and Slovakia (.sk TLD).

  • Why .su? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lostchicken ( 226656 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @12:43PM (#4490041)
    Why was the USSR's ccTLD .su, not .sr? "Soviet Union" is an English name, while the Russian name was SSSR ("Sojus Sowjetskich Sozialistitscheskich Respublik"), making .sr more correct. This could account for a popularity hit of the ccTLD.

    Imagine if the US's ccTLD was .eeuu (Estados Unidos).
    • Re:Why .su? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @02:06PM (#4490421) Homepage
      Why was the USSR's ccTLD .su, not .sr? "Soviet Union" is an English name, while the Russian name was SSSR ("Sojus Sowjetskich Sozialistitscheskich Respublik"), making .sr more correct. This could account for a popularity hit of the ccTLD.

      "SR"? Don't you mean "CP"? If they're not going to use the correct alphabet, the rest is academic, no?

      Anyway, it's extremely common to use abbreviations reflecting the English rather than local forms of the name, especially in cases where the local language doesn't use roman script.

      Consider China (cn), India (in), Japan (jp), Egypt (eg), Jordan (jo), for example. None of those reflect how the country's name is pronounced in the local language (respectively: Zhong Guo, Hindustan, Nihon, Misr, Al-Urdan)

      Those are all plenty popular. Whoever modded you insightful needs a slap in the face.

  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Sunday October 20, 2002 @03:13PM (#4490706)

    At the ICANN Building in New York City, a meeting of nations is in progress.
    Russian official: The Soviet Union will be pleased to offer amnesty to your wayward website.
    American official: The Soviet Union? I thought you guys broke up.
    Russian official: Yes, that's what we wanted you to think! [evil laugh] -- "Simpson Tide", Episode 3G04 [snpp.com]

  • Just stop registering new domains and let the old ones stay.

    It is probably a lot less work for everyone involved, and will keep people with .su domains happy and online.
  • Then, I can have fun names like riaa.will.su, netkooks.will.su, and the ultimate, scientology.will.su.
  • Not the 1st time (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thogard ( 43403 )
    .oz was removed years ago. What used to live there moved to oz.au.
  • So if Bush gets his way and we obliterate Iraq, what will become of the .iq domain?
  • http://save.nsk.su/english/vote/index.html

    We as users stay out of arguments about technical issues that play for .SU destruction. From the marketing point of view (which - by all means - should determine the technical point of view with the users' interests and not the other way around) existence of .SU is fully justified. We don't agree with the attitude of those people who say that we will not be harmed by .SU destruction. On this market every solution is possible if it is demanded by users just like different watches or briefcases ranging in price from $1 to $15000 and more for an item. This is rather a question of personal preferences and habits of every one. No internet user should become a hostage of some administrative and political games of separate individuals who traditionally were closer than many regular users to the decision-making Internet organizations.
  • On 21 December 1991, the USSR broke up. Four days later, Gorbachev resigned as Soviet President. Any new registrations for .su should have been frozen. People who had an .su domain should have been given three choices:

    A. Closing out their .su domain.
    B. Transferring their name to another ccTLD in the world;
    C. Transferring their name to one of the new Republics ccTLDs once they were set up;

    After that was done, the .su ccTLD should have died in 1991-92 and not in 2002, a full ten years after the events happened.

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