Goodbye .io

I’ve moved my personal site and email address from an .io domain to .online.

It took me too long to do this. I even toyed with the justification that practically all top-level domains are absurd in their reinforcement of border politics in a virtual space, and corrupt in their administration, but in the case of .io, it’s much worse.

The British Indian Ocean Territory, to which the .io TLD is assigned, was formerly known as the Chagos Islands. The Chagossians continue to fight for their right to repatriate decades after being brutally removed from their homes by the UK government, who annexed the islands shortly before Mauritian independence.

The Chagossians, now scattered around the world, see none of the profit from the sale of .io TLDs. The UK denies making money from them too:

The British Government has no financial arrangement with the Internet Computer Bureau, which is the Domain Name Registrar or Network Information Centre for a number of domains including for some of the Overseas Territories.

Popular with tech startups (due the double meaning of input/output), .io TLDs cost around $40 per year (USD) and clearly, that money is going somewhere. Hopefully the recent vote at the UN general assembly in favour of seeking an advisory ruling from the International Court of Justice is the first step towards the Chagossians returning home, and .io profits being redistributed to Mauritius for use in rebuilding the islands for non-military habitation.