By now, most of you should be aware of the two bills SOPA and PIPA being pushed through Congress that attempt to thwart online piracy and copyright infringement – as well as the much covered opposition from the likes of Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, etc. For those of you who haven’t been following this story, check out this article, Don’t Break the Internet, from the Stanford Law Review or this video that provide for you a run down of what’s at stake.
In a nutshell, these 2 bills would give content owners and the federal government the ability to shut down not just your domain but also your business if infringed content is found on, linked to, or even suspected to be affiliated with your site – and they can do this without an opportunity for you to defend yourself.
In the case of SOPA at least, much of the most objectionable language has been written out over the past few days, however this is not the case for PIPA. As a result of the recent protesting and lobbying from companies like Google, many of the bills’ Congressional supporters are backing away, pushing back the vote on them until the heat from the media and the public has died down.
With all this happening right here at home – not to mention all the other pro-censorship countries around the world, you might be wondering which IP registrars are the safest to use – meaning, which registrars are least likely to take your domain down because of a government request.
Unfortunately, any domains under top level that the US Department of Commerce is asserting control over are not reliable, so if you’re being extra careful, stick with ccTLDs (country code top level domains) that don’t have ties to the US or whichever country that is an issue of concern for you.
Here is a list of all accredited registrars from IANA’s website. It isn’t sorted by country but registrars from all 5 RIRs (Regional Internet Registries) are here – as we don’t have direct experience with any of these domains we are hesitant to make recommendations publicly. Moreover, if your business is dependent on the internet we recommend you or your “IT guy” take this seriously, get as educated as you can on this issue and start doing some homework :)