Future of .IO becomes a political issue

15.05.2019

The British government rejected the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the Chagos Archipelago. It was reported that this archipelago has the status of a British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), and ICANN has granted it the .IO ccTLD. Today .IO is very popular with technological startups and software developers, with an estimated 270,000 registered domain names. IO is the slang abbreviation for input/output.

However, Mauritius insists the archipelago should be returned to it because Great Britain unlawfully proclaimed the islands its territory and exiled all the locals in order to establish a military base. The ICJ recognized Mauritius’s right and called on Great Britain to hand over the islands. Theresa May’s Conservative government does not intend to comply with this decision. However, according to Domain Incite, it was supported by the Labour opposition : its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said Labour was “committed to respecting the advisory opinion in full, so as to ensure that Chagossians are able to return to their homes.” This means that the future of .IO has become a political issue and will depend on whether the Conservatives remain in power.