Saturday, July 2, 2011

South Sudan has applied for .SS


On July 9th, Southern Sudan will officially declare itself a republic and the country has already applied for the delegation of the .SS as its country code Top Level Domain according to the country's Undersecretary for Telecommunications, Stephen Lugga, in an interview with Reuters.

"We want our domain name to be 'SS' for 'South Sudan', but people are telling us 'SS' has an association in Europe with Nazis," Lugga told Reuters. "Some might prefer us to have a different one," Lugga said. "We have applied for it anyway, SS, and we are waiting for a reply."

There has been some talk from a section of the internet community of opposition to South Sudan's use of .ss due to its connotation to the Nazi era SS(Schutzstaffel). Heinrich Himmler would love these domain names. Sorry guys, it's impossible to allude to the Nazi and be politically correct at the same time. It is no coincidence that most visitors searching for .ss domain names are from Germany (most Germans hate such reminders of that dark chapter in their nation's history). South Sudan must brace itself for a tough SS battle. The debate is likely to grow louder and louder after July 9th when South Sudan has become an independent nation and .SS turns from some wild speculation to certain reality. Some of my domaining friends tell me that the young nation could make some good money with .ss domain names. They are both controversial and popular but of course South Sudan must ensure these names are not used by neo-nazi hate groups. Following on the trend of most of African nations, S.Sudan can even make this a restricted ccTLD. So why should a South Sudanese be a neo-nazi? In an era when we have TLD extensions like .xxx and .sx(Saint Martin) and are likely to have .sex , .ss sort of pales in comparison. Saudi Arabia has a .SA (another ugly blast from the past), why aren't people complaining about those?

Politics aside, it's only natural that IANA should allocate SS as the  ISO 3166-1 standard two letter alpha-2 country code for South Sudan after all, but expect the media to over-politicize issues as the zero hour approaches. For now, we can wait and see. 
The new country is also expected to have an International dialing code within 48 hours of independence.