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South Sudan launches its national domain

The National Communication Authority of South Sudan announced that users can start registering in the country’s national domain as of June 1. South Sudan, the youngest independent state to date, was established in 2011. The International Standardization Organization has assigned the two-letter code SS (South Sudan) to the new national domain.

As reported earlier, this decision caused heated debates. Many critics noted with good reason that the abbreviation SS is usually associated with the Nazi-era Schutzstaffel (SS) organization. Some people also speculated that the domain .SS might attract those wanting to voice neo-Nazi views. One way or another, ICANN had no right to refuse to assign .SS as South Sudan’s national domain.

We will soon find out whether these apprehensions are justified. The sunrise period will open as of June 1. During this period that will last until July 15, copyright holders will be able to register domain names that are the same or similar to their trademarks and brands. Premium registration will open on July 17. The general launch of the new TLD is planned for September. So far, it will only be possible to register third-level domain names, such as .com.ss, .net.ss, .biz.ss, .org.ss, .gov.ss, edu.ss, .sch.ss and .me.ss. General registration will be available only for .com.ss, .net.ss and .biz.ss, and those trying to register any of the other domain names will be required to provide additional proof of the fact that they are affiliated with specific categories, according to Domain Incite. The registry also announced that it is considering making direct second-level registrations available “at a later date.”

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