The UK Government profiteering from the .IO Domain


Staff member
I read an article last night about the very popular .IO domain TLD extension that has stuck in my mind.

About the .IO Domain
.io is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the British Indian Ocean Territory. Internationalized domain names may also be registered.[1]

Other than the militarized atoll of Diego Garcia, the territory has been uninhabited since the existing population was evacuated in 1973 and has no government of its own. Google currently treats .io as a generic top-level domain (gTLD) because "users and webmasters frequently see [the domain] more generic than country-targeted".[2]

.io domains are popular with new startup companies.[3] IO is also used in IT as an abbreviation for input/output, which makes the .io domain useful for domain hacks. IO also stands as an abbreviation for Internet Organization. In addition, .io domains are often used for open source projects and online services.[4]


The following article goes into detail explaining that the .IO Domain which is meant for the Islands in the Indian Ocean has been hijacked by technology companies and worst still virtually of the profits raised from the sale of the popular .IO Domains is going back into the Islands inhabitants. Instead it`s going to British Companies and the UK Government!

It`s a damning read! Made me open my eyes as I was considering registering a couple of .IO Domains for some of the upcoming projects I have in the pipeline. Have a read, it`s roughly a 15 - 20 minute article.

While .tv brings in millions of dollars each year for the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, and .me benefits Montenegro, the people of the British Indian Ocean Territory, or the Chagos Islands, have no such luck. Indeed, profits from the sale of each .io domain flow to the very force that expelled the Chagossian or Ilois people from their equatorial land just a generation or two ago: the British government.

Read the full article entitled "The dark side of .IO: How the U.K. is making web domain profits from a shady Cold War land deal"


Staff member
Interesting article and sounds like real domain racketeering - but then maybe domains have become a proverbial investor like bubble as everyone seems to be getting into the business of domains and now Governments as well . Guess next there will be an outcry, an inquiry and investigation and then a recommendation for legislation that governs UK domains. And then I can't help wonder what the consequences will be for too. As I've always wondered about being available to everyone outside the UK as well.


New member
This intriguing topic led me to investigate the history of the British Indian Ocean Territory and its dispossessed inhabitants the Ilois or Chagossians (as they are now called). The atolls were uninhabited until the French started a colony on Diego Garcia island (now the site of a joint British/US military base). The French ceded the colony (indeed, all six atolls) to the British in 1810. The original inhabitants on Diego Garcia were brought there by French-controlled Mauritians to work on coconut plantations and included a group of slaves captured from Africa (about 50) and some Mauritian overseers. The British outlawed slavery in 1835 and the slaves on Diego Garcia started earning wages, buying land, and settled on the island. Several generations of Chagossians lived on Diego Garcia and other nearby islands, numbering about 1,600 people in 1968. By 1973, they had been evacuated to Mauritius because the US and UK planned a military base for the island and wanted the atoll (all the islands in the group) to be free of inhabitants. The evacuated Chagossians now number about 5,000 people and are very active in trying to regain the right to return and resettle Diego Garcia and the other islands in the atoll.